Promising apprentice Ryan Elliot produced a copybook performance to guide smart sprinter Snowdrop to a convincing victory at Ellerslie on Saturday.
The three-kilogram claimer followed trainer Tony Pike's instructions to the letter as he made good use of the four-year-old mare's blistering gate speed to gain a trailing position in the early stages of the Dream Beds sponsored 1200 metre contest.
Elliot eased the daughter of Pins and multiple Group One winner Daffodil to the lead rounding the home turn before asking for a serious effort at the 200 metre mark. The mare bounded clear and held out all challenges by a comfortable two length margin in a blistering 1.08.88 for the journey.
It was Snowdrop's fifth win from 10 starts to date and the first on her return from a brief summer break after scoring in fine style at Trentham back in January.
"She's a very handy mare and the race suited her down to the ground with a solid tempo on all the way," noted Pike.
"She has brilliant early speed and Ryan made good use of that to get her across from a wide draw. He held her up nicely and the benefit of his claim was fairly evident in the closing stages where she held them out quite comfortably."
Pike will now speak with owners Garry and Mark Chittick before deciding on the next steps for his charge.
"She can't cop a wet track so we might end up sending her to the paddock if the rains come," he said.
"I will have a chat with Garry and Mark as there is a stakes race for the fillies and mares at Rotorua next month but we would only press ahead for that if it stays dry for another few weeks."
Pike will next turn his attention to the upcoming Queensland Winter Carnival with stable runners Raghu, Rangipo, Sacred Star and Sacred Elixir all set to head across the Tasman in the next seven days. – NZ Racing Desk