A top training performance by Roger James resulted in an impressive fresh-up win by Misstrum in the Listed MacLeans Soliloquy Stakes at Ellerslie last weekend.
Misstrum had been off the scene since winning the Listed Graeme Thomson Jewellers Great Northern Foal Stakes on the track last May and to successfully handle 1400 metres first-up in almost five months without a trial was a huge effort from both horse and trainer.
Constant wet weather had ruined plans to give Misstrum a trials run and when the trials were finally held it was too close to last weekend’s race to be considered for the Australian-bred daughter of Stratum.
“I thought she’d done enough to go a good race, but I’d have been more confident if she’d have been able to have a trial,” said James immediately after the race. “There’s big improvement in her.”
Misstrum had to be good to win, despite drawing a handy barrier. She enjoyed a good run three back on the fence, but on the home turn she had to be checked off heels and lost momentum.
Rider Leith Innes allowed Misstrum to get balanced again before asking her to make a run along the inside and the filly responded well to knuckle down and fight right to the line to beat Ray’s Girl by a head.
Fellow Cambridge fillies Best Command, Marni, Twilight Granita and Kelly O’Reilly finished fourth, fifth, seventh and eight respectively. Marni looked unlucky not to finish closer.
Misstrum has now recorded two wins and two placings from four starts and has been ridden in both wins by Leith Innes, who rates her highly.
“The inside draw helped a bit today and I only got going on her the last bit,” said Innes. “More ground is going to be better for this filly.”
Misstrum’s main mission is the Group I NZ Bloodstock 1000 Guineas at Riccarton on November 17.
“She’s a frail filly and will only have one run between now and Riccarton,” said James. “That was a hard first-up run and I’ll give her time to get over it.”
- Cambridge JC