Glamour filly Anabandana completed her domination of 2-Year-Old racing in New Zealand this season in determined style taking out the $200,000 (Group One) Manawatu Produce Stakes at Awapuni yesterday.
A win is a win - particularly when it comes to scoring back-to-back Group One victories - but Anabandana had to fight the length of the home stretch to reel in the pace setting Antonio Lombardo in the 1400m feature.
Antonio Lombardo set a sizzling tempo in front and was tracked in every stride by Anabandana who pushed out quickly on the home turn to obtain clear galloping room to challenge.
Midway down the home stretch Anabandana gained the lead momentarily but Antonio Lombardo showed his class kicking back in determined fashion along the inner close to the line.
Anabandana scored by a nose over Antonio Lombardo with a further 3 lengths back to Dowager Queen (third).
"This filly certainly knows where the finishing line is and she is just a marvellous filly with a huge heart," said Anabandana's trainer Don Sellwood after the race.
"Opie [Bosson, winning jockey] gave her a great sit in the race and she'll now have a week at home before we tip her out for a spell.
"This was her first trip away from home and it's great to travel away from home and get another Group One win."
Anabandana has been sensational for Sellwood and Hamilton owner Chris Grace scoring four wins and two minor placings from six starts.
The Oaks Stud-sponsored event has been a happy hunting ground for Grace who was also a part-owner of last year's winner Nacho Man.
Hayden Tinsley was in a ruthless mood when teaming with Starcheeka in the $70,000 (Group Three) The Oaks Manawatu Classic.
Tinsley punched the son of Starcraft straight to the front in the 2000m classic and proceeded to run the opposition into submission setting a blistering tempo pace in front throughout.
Starcheeka kicked clear of the field before the home turn and was a sitting duck for any runner good enough to catch him but none were as this combination scored comfortably from Endor and So Divine (third).
Starcheeka has had a busy 3-year-old campaign under the guidance of Stephen McKee compiling an improving career record of four wins from 10 starts.
James McDonald has been talking up the class of 4-year-old mare Guiseppina for a long time and she delivered in clinical style in a $45,000 (listed event).
McDonald rode a patient race on the Johar mare settling her back in the field against the rail before improving between runners and working out into the middle of the track at the top of the home stretch.
Once balanced, Guiseppina unleashed a blistering sprint powering to the front then easing down at the finish, well clear of O'Cartier and Eileen Dubh (third).By Anthony Corban Email Anthony