Sam Spratt is becoming the Coupland's queen.
The 31-year-old Auckland jockey claimed her third Coupland's Bakeries Mile at Riccarton Park yesterday in the space of the last nine renewals courtesy of Battle Time's victory in the $230,000 1600m feature.
Spratt was the defending champion in the jockey ranks, having steered home Addictive Habit in last year's edition. She was also aboard the top miler Mufhasa when he travelled south to win the Coupland's in 2008.
"It must be my race - I like a bit of bakery food," Spratt joked.
The son of Battle Paint had only graced the winner's stall twice in 20 starts prior to yesterday's 1 length win over Ringo, but the talent had always been evident.
He was third to Amarula in the 2015 Hawke's Bay Guineas, then was second to Xtravagant in last year's 2000 Guineas.
"He's gone good races down here before, so he obviously likes Christchurch," Spratt said.
"I was a bit worried - I thought he might need the easing of the track, but he's pretty tough and ignorant so I think he got through on that."
Battle Time carried just 52kg in yesterday's feature, which gave Spratt plenty of confidence at the turn. "With that weight - and he's a big strong boy - we got a bit of a run on at the corner and I knew they had to run pretty fast to catch up."
Co-trainer Margaret Carter was pleased to see Battle Time's class emerge in the form of the group two win.
"He's a very good horse - he proved it here last year," she said.
"OK, he only ran second and you don't get mentioned, but he's definitely got the goods. He just had to prove it. There are big things for this horse - today, he really showed what he's got."
Last year's runner-up Ringo, who had to concede Battle Time seven kilos, was gallant in finishing second again while 2012 winner Nashville was tardily away and hit the line well for third.
Big things could also be ahead for Reilly Lincoln after her Stewards Stakes win over Signify and Batman in the feature sprint. Reilly Lincoln now has seven wins from 16 starts, a record which is beginning to look imposing.
"She's got really good form - she's battled a little bit with knee problems at times," trainer Lisa Latta said.
Black type could also be in the future of Aspen Lass but at Wingatui rather than in the North Island.
The Alamosa mare fought hard to shake off Tarihira in the R75 2000m, continuing a dream run for owners Graeme and Leah Causer, of Tai Tapu.
Riccarton trainer Terri Rae said the couple had one horse prior to Aspen Lass, but the 4-year-old is the first to make the races.
"She'll go out for a couple of weeks then look at something like the White Robe [Handicap on February 4] and try and look for a bit of black type."