Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators
It was a case of third time lucky for Miss Limelight when she gave a spirited frontrunning performance to score an easy win in the $30,000 group 3 WASBA Four And Five-Year-Old Mares Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
“This was her third crack at a $30,000 feature event for mares this year,” said Blythewood trainer Michael Brennan. It followed seconds behind Savvy Bromac and Radiant Amber in the previous two features.
“She hasn’t had a whole bunch of luck lately,” said Brennan. “Her previous couple of runs were really good, and four starts ago when third behind Fifty Five Reborn and Balcatherine in a Free-For-All for mares, it was a really good run when she was blocked for a clear run.
“And last week in the San Simeon Classic against the boys she was very unlucky (when hopelessly blocked for a run and finishing tenth behind Alta Engen). When Dylan (Egerton-Green) got off he said ‘she’ll be winning next week’ and he was right.
“She has always been a good mare, but she hasn’t had much luck this preparation. I’ll probably give her a couple more starts before giving her a break and then preparing her for the big features for mares in the summer.”
“She is a good quality mare who will step up to that class. She might not be as good as Balcatherine, but she’s not without a winning hope in those events.”
Miss Limelight, the $2.60 favourite from the No. 1 barrier, was driven confidently by Michael Grantham, and after a modest lead time of 38.8sec. and a slow opening quarter, she stepped up a gear with final quarters of 29.2sec. 29.2sec. and 28.4sec. to win at a 1.58.2 rate over 2130m.
Alta Louisa, a strong winner at her two outings after a spell, dashed forward from the rear in the second lap to move into the breeze with 950m to travel.
And this helped Miss Limelight, according to Brennan. “The best thing about her is that she likes being eye-balled, and it helped her having a horse up there tonight,” he said.
Miss Limelight was not fully extended in winning from $31 chance Missplay, who finished solidly after trailing the leader all the way. Alta Louisa ($6) fought on gamely to finish third.
Miss Limelight, owned by Albert and Julie Walmsley, is the ninth foal out of the unraced New Zealand-bred mare Its Showtime, and is a full-sister to Elios, who earned $219,577 from ten wins and eight placings from 28 starts. His wins included the group 2 Supremacy Stakes at Invercargill in April 2013 and the group 2 Futurity Stakes at Waikato in January 2014 when he defeated the outstanding mare Christen Me.