Even the comparatively minor racedays at Hastings have an amazing history of unveiling future stars.
Although few are as memorable as the dazzling 13-length win by Falkirk a decade ago, almost every summer sees an up-and-comer put on an impressive display at Hastings on their way to bigger and better things.
Yesterday's Lime Country Thoroughbreds 3YO winner, Splitsecond, might be that horse for 2011-12.
Having hit the line well for fourth on debut, Splitsecond took a giant leap forward in yesterday's maiden event. She made a bold move to take command of the race well before the home turn and swept away down the straight to an emphatic and convincing win.
She ran her rivals into the ground and was far too good for them
The New Zealand Oaks is the goal for Splitsecond and yesterday's performance suggested it's a realistic one for this Waikato Stud-owned daughter of Pins. The TAB seems to have a lot of respect for her and considers her a genuine contender, having her listed as a $26 chance for the Oaks.
It's a big ask to go from a maiden in January to an internationally respected Group 1 in March, and she needs to overcome her sire's sprinting influence and show she has the stamina to run 2400m. But sheer class and ability count for a lot in the Oaks and what we saw yesterday from Splitsecond was a lot of that.
Most trainers would be happy to have one Oaks contender as good as Splitsecond but, for Roger James, she is just one of many. James also trains Oaks favourite Silent Achiever, who rose from anonymity to stardom during the Ellerslie Christmas Carnival, as well as stakes winner Holy Moly and the highly promising Full Of Spirit.
- Hawkes Bay Today