Danielle Johnson chalked up her 150th win for the season with an armchair ride on future star It Might Be You.
Johnson was patient when caught wide on the pace throughout the maiden event at Te Rapa yesterday. But when she asked the royally-bred daughter of Savabeel to extend in the straight, she quickly gained the ascendancy, before cruising to the line nearly four lengths to the good of her nearest rival.
Trained by Mike Moroney and Pam Gerard, It Might Be You is bred and raced by Waikato Stud's Garry Chittick, who had to wait a little longer than expected for the debut win.
"We had her ready to go when she put her leg through a fence but it's amazing how they recover," Chittick said. "Sam McLeish, here on the farm, and Pam have done a bloody good job, and our vet Chris Phillips, but it's just a time thing and she's been in and out [of work]. But if you take away the injury, sometimes the extra time does the horse a lot of good.
"We're likely to poke around and try to win a few races with her through the spring, and maybe consider going to Australia next autumn, if she's up to it.
"It's a very good family that was running a bit short on females. We were always going to retain her, regardless of the injury, especially with what we see top mares are making off the track and their commercial breeding appeal, you're better to breed your own."
It Might Be You is out of the stakes-winning Telegraph (1200m) runner-up Tootsie and is a three-quarter sister to triple Group2-winning stallion Ocean Emperor.
"It's been our policy for a long time at Waikato Stud, trying to hang on to worthwhile fillies," Chittick said.
Johnson didn't take long to extend her season tally to 151 with victory aboard the Emma Davies-trained Gerda in race four.
In New Plymouth, local trainer Allan Sharrock prepared the quinella in the Listed Powerworx Opunake Cup (1400m) when Sam Weatherley guided race favourite Justaskme to victory over gallant mare London Express.
Bred and raced by Sharrock in partnership with his brother Bruce, the newly appointed chief operating officer at New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing and former Kiwi rugby league international Tony Kemp, Justaskme overcame being hindered by the riderless Mont Ventoux early in the home straight to down his stablemate by two lengths.
The win was Sharrock's 53rd for the season, the highest tally he has achieved in 33 years of training and his seventh black-type success in the last 12 months. "That was a pretty special victory, winning a black-type race on your home track," Sharrock said. NZ Racing Desk