TRAINER Craig Martin has found himself becoming somewhat a weather watcher – particularly in the preparation of Lady Berengaria who held off a late charge to win the Yellowglen Maiden Handicap (1000m) at Tamworth on Monday.
Ridden by jockey Dale Spriggs, the five-year-old lightly-raced mare held on to beat race favourite Lady In Charge (Greg Ryan) by a neck with first starter Universal Miss (Shane Arnold) three-quarters of a length away in third spot.
And in taking out the race, she scampered over the 1000m distance in handy 57.68sec, just one-tenth of a second outside the existing class record.
Watching the weather has paid off nicely for Martin.
He predicted that the recent light rain in Tamworth was just what Lady Berengaria needed to perform well.
“She has leg problems, that’s why she’s only lightly-raced,” Martin said.
“So I’ve been basically waiting around for the ideal track to suit her.”
While Lady Berengaria resumed from a two-month freshen-up to grab her first win from only eight career starts, she really earned the victory according to Martin.
“Dale said that coming to the turn, she felt like she was going to win by 100 metres. But I think that last stretch of ground really tested her.”
Prior to Monday’s victory, Lady Berengaria looked like she was closing in on her first win for connections by claiming the bridesmaid tag in both her previous starts.
Her first run back after a four-month let-up was a nice second of 14 over 1000m on her home track in August, then she was given another freshen-up after a strong neck second of 10 over 950m in maiden company at Moree on September 2.
Martin joked that he would again be “watching the weather” as he prepares for the mare’s next outing.