A gritty performance from progressive mare Galaxy Miss took jockey Michael Coleman to within touching distance of a magical 2000th career victory when she took out the Print House 1200 at Te Rapa on Saturday.
Coleman has been in a rare vein of form in recent weeks as he bids to become just the seventh member of the elusive "2000 Club".
The victory was win number 1996 for the Matamata hoop who produced a typically classy effort to land the Tavistock five-year-old a narrow but decisive winner.
Galaxy Miss bounced nicely from a handy barrier to settle in the trail behind free-goer Dancing Flames who set a strong pace throughout the rating 85 1200 metre contest. Angled into the clear by Coleman as they entered the home straight, the mare appeared to battle a little as race-favourite Selfie swept past her as he chased down the flying Dancing Flames.
Under an aggressive Coleman ride Galaxy Miss picked up the bit and charged to the lead in the final 100 metres to score by a comfortable three-quarters of a length from Dancing Flames who fought back courageously to shade Selfie for second.
"She's really strengthened up this time in and is just a different mare," noted trainer Danica Guy who was full of praise for Coleman's performance on the mare who has now won 5 of her 15 career starts. "She was ridden perfectly," she said.
"He's rested her at the right time and she showed she really wanted to win as she does try very very hard."
Coleman will have some time on his hands to contemplate the four winners he requires to get to the 2000 mark as he sits out a two-week suspension. In attaining the mark, he will join an elite group that contains just six members in David Walsh, Lance O'Sullivan, David Peake, Bill Skelton, Noel Harris and Chris Johnson.
- NZ Racing Desk