New Zealand’s Lynsey Satherley still yearns for the Fiji sun but she’s just as happy to reunite with Supreme Heights in Saturday’s Group 3 Rydges Rotorua Stakes (1400m).
The Cambridge jockey was Supreme Heights’ regular rider at the start of her career but a family trip to Fiji in June 2019 led to her missing the Jimmy Choux mare’s maiden win.
She tried to pry successful jockey Samantha Collett from the saddle without joy and it was only at the Mark Brosnan-trained mare’s last start in February that she was finally able to regain the ride.
“I decided to go to Fiji on holiday and Sam Collett got on and won and I couldn’t get her off again,” Satherley said.
“I’d like to be having another holiday in Fiji this winter actually but that doesn’t look likely and in the meantime I’m just grateful to be back on the mare.
“She was just feeling the ground last time I rode her and that’s why Mark put her out. She’s come back in really good order and the cut in the ground suits her well.”
Brosnan has given five-year-old mare Supreme Heights a long build-up to her return to racing, opting against rushing her back to be ready for the Group 1 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m) at Te Rapa last month.
A two-time Group Three winner earlier this season, she returned to the trials at Taupo last month, scoring by 2.5 lengths in a 1225m open heat, beating Even Chance, who won by 5.5 lengths resuming at Te Rapa last weekend to make the form look good.
“She’s flying at the moment. Her trial was good and she felt super,” Satherley said.
“Her trial showed she’s improved from last preparation. She deserves to be number one in the book. Her trial showed that she’s pretty forward and I’m not worried about the wet track.
“She’ll run through the ground no problem and I think she’ll run top three.”
Satherley will shoot for the other feature at Arawa Park earlier in the day when she teams up with the Nick Bishara-trained Verry Flash in the Group 3 Campbell Infrastructure Rotorua Cup (2200m).
A winner of the Listed Taumaunui Gold Cup (2200m) at Rotorua in 2019, Verry Flash ran second at Ellerslie last month and backs up from an unplaced run at Te Rapa last Saturday, both times with Satherley aboard.
“He handles bad ground and he looks a nice lightweight chance,” Satherley said, suggesting Rotorua specialist Calpurnia was the pick of her other rides on Saturday in the Sherlock Contracting 1560.