A light weight was just what the trainer ordered for Take Fire in the $12,000 Clare Memorial Gold Cup at Omakau yesterday.
The Pentire mare had been up and down the weights scale in recent starts.
Ascot Park trainer Jo-Anne Dalton picked out yesterday's race as one which could suit the 5-year-old, and her plan was on the mark, as she saw out the trip in style to claim her fourth career scalp carrying 54kg. The mare won twice in the autumn of 2015 before having a spell and copping the varied weights on her return.
"That's why I wanted to run her today - she got a bit of weight off her back. She's been getting a bit of weight and she's only a little thing."
Take Fire is Dalton's first win in the Clare Memorial Gold Cup which was run over 2000m this year, although her sister Andrea Dryden trained Ginger Top to win the corresponding race - the 2000m open handicap - at the 2000 New Year meeting.
Take Fire could have a crack at the Dunedin Gold Cup at Wingatui on February 6, Dalton said.
The winner of the $25,000 Summer Plate will also be looking for a staying trip, his co-trainer says.
Full Count has made his mark since arriving at Nikki and Barrie Blatch's Tapanui stables last year, winning at Riccarton in the spring before grabbing yesterday's 1400m feature.
"We're going to try him over 2000m, because he settles. To be fair, we might even be forced into that with what's coming up."
Samantha Wynne rode both Take Fire and Full Count to victory, opting to stay closer to the rails than the majority of her rivals.