Different horse, same result. That was the story of the Coupland's Mile for jockey Kelly Myers at Riccarton yesterday as she went back to back in the race by actually costing her victorious mount of last season the win.
Myers partnered Platinum Princess to win southern galloping's biggest mile race last year but relegated her to third place yesterday when kicking Nashville home.
The outstanding 4-year-old came from well back to surge clear at the 200m mark and then held out a game Shuka, with Platinum Princess a neck away third.
With two wins in the group two event it is easy to see why Myers rates the Riccarton carnival her favourite.
"I just love coming here, it's my favourite meeting," she said.
She was hypercritical of her own ride, though.
"I actually think I went for him a bit too early. I think I should have waited another 50m.
"But he got there very easily because he is a very exciting horse.
"I'm looking forward to seeing what he can do in the future."
Nashville won his debut on the same day last year for trainer Adrian Bull and has always looked the real deal, chasing home Ocean Park, in front of Burgundy in the Wellington Stakes last season.
He was then luckless in a Queensland winter campaign but returned with an impressive win at Wanganui last month, suggesting he is one of the early favourites for the other feature miles over the summer.
His win also continued the fine start to the season for his sire Darci Brahma, whom the sponsor of yesterday's race, Ray Coupland, appropriately owns a share in.
While the winner was outstanding, punters on Shuka could feel hard done by as he was trapped three wide for much of the race.
He had the audacity to try and go with the winner again at the 200m and looks certain to pick up a decent race at the summer carnivals.
Meanwhile, dual New Zealand Cup hero Terror To Love could face an even tougher task when he backs up in the $150,000 Free-For-All at Addington tomorrow.
That is even though his rivals won't include the two pacers who chased him home in Tuesday's great race: Highview Tommy and Sushi Sushi.
Terror To Love has drawn barrier five in the group one event, which has been reduced to a mile for the first time this season.
The reason Addington doesn't traditionally run mile races is because it means starting on the bend, so horses drawn wide are severely punished.
So while Terror To Love's draw doesn't sound that bad, it could seem an awfully long way to the inside markers from five wide on the track.
While Terror To Love has opened a $1.50 favourite with the TAB, there will be plenty willing to bet against him, especially with Mah Sish ($7.50), Gold Ace ($6) and the value runner Caribbean Blaster ($14) drawn inside him.
Champion trotter I Can Doosit could be the hottest favourite of the day, though, opening at just $1.20 from an almost perfect barrier (6) in the day's other iconic race, the $200,000 Dominion Handicap.By Michael Guerin Email Michael