Lightly raced mare Spring Heat finally delivered on her undoubted promise when she produced a barnstorming finish to capture the Group 3 Haunui Farm King’s Plate (1200m) at Ellerslie. The More Than Ready five-year-old came into the race off the back of a placing at the highest level after finishing third to Avantage in the Group 1 Telegraph (1200m) at Trentham last month.
Back to the track where she had won the Group 3 Bonecrusher Stakes (1400m) as a three-year-old, the Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott-trained galloper was the subject of some inspired late support as she jumped the $3.50 favourite for the contest.
Settled beautifully three places back off a solid speed set up by Rock ‘N’ Affair and Speedy Meady, rider Danielle Johnson found herself awkwardly placed approaching the home turn as runners swooped around the outside of her mount.
Taken wide to make her run by Johnson, Spring Heat delivered a potent burst that carried her to the leaders in the shadows of the post as she narrowly defeated a game Its Destinys Child who had sprinted through to the front closer to the inside fence.
“That was a pretty cool ride by Danielle,” O’Sullivan said. “I was getting a bit anxious as she was a fair way back. She wasn’t panicking though and it was a great performance aided by a very good ride.”
O’Sullivan admitted he felt there would be a lot of early speed in the race which would set it up for the finishing kick of his charge. “There looked like there would be a lot of pace and Danielle came out and said she would try and get them late. “That’s only her third run for the season as we race her pretty sparingly, but that seems to suit her and as long as she is sound, she always seems to perform.”
O’Sullivan advised that there were no firm plans for the mare who races in the Hermitage Thoroughbreds colours and who has now won five of her 13 career starts.