Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators
Busselton owner-trainer Barry Howlett has no regrets that he paid $9000 for a Renaissance Man filly at the 2017 Perth APG yearling sale.
Now a five-year-old mare named My Prayer, she is proving a wonderful bargain, with her fast-finishing victory in the 2130m Nova 93.7 Pace at Gloucester Park on Saturday night improving her record to 48 starts for seven wins and 16 placings for earnings of $133,183.
My Prayer is out of Mystery Oro, who managed just one placing from 11 starts, a third at Kellerberrin in April 2003, but many of her relatives were good winners, including Bin Oro, one of the State’s best pacers in the late 1950s and 1960s.
However, it has not been plain sailing for My Prayer, who has always had problems as a knee knocker. “She races with go straights, and that is helping her,” said Howlett. “She is a lot stronger now.”
My Prayer’s win as a $24.60 outsider over the $1.45 favourite Euphoria ended a losing sequence of eleven and a 13-month drought. She started from barrier two on the back line and raced in sixth place three back on the pegs before Mitch Miller eased her off the pegs 250m from home and brought her home with a powerful burst to snatch victory from Euphoria, who had set the pace and had to withstand some strong opposition for much of the race.
Howlett’s other runner in the race, eight-year-old Fanci A Dance ($8) was an excellent third after racing three wide early and then being restrained to the rear before going forward again and racing three wide without cover approaching the bell. “Hopefully, My Prayer will keep improving and develop into a candidate for feature races for mares in the summer, along with stablemate Star of Diamonds,” said Howlett. “My Prayer now has had five runs after a spell and she has got better with every run.”