On a day where Richards notched his 50th victory at stakes level when Melody Belle took out the Gr.1 BCD Group Sprint (1200m), Harlow showed she could be a contender to add to that record with an eye-catching performance in the first race of the day.
Consistent at the trials with two thirds and a second, Harlow was eased back to last from the outside gate by rider Matt Cameron and still trailed the field nearing the 200m, before kicking into overdrive and winning going away with her ears pricked.
“I knew there was going to be pace and the plan was let her settle and find her feet,” Cameron said. “She did well to pick them up and she’s a nice filly.”
A $41,000 purchase by Te Akau boss David Ellis from the Pear Tree Farm Agistment draft at the 2018 NZB South Island Sale, the showy Proisir filly became the seventh individual two-year-old winner this season for Richards.
“She’s got a bit of presence about her, the white-flecky mane and tail makes her stand out,” Richards said.
“We really like her. She trialled well and it was always going to be tricky from back in the field, but she showed her class and Matt gave her a lovely ride.
“She was a cheap filly that Dave (Ellis) bought out of the South Island and she’s on to the Matamata Breeders’ Stakes in a fortnight.”
A race Te Akau has won six times, the Gr.2 Matamata Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) is the feature event at Matamata on February 23.
“She’s got a beautiful frame and has a fair bit of maturing to do yet, so we’re excited about her future,” Richards said.
“Hopefully, she’s another nice horse that can work her way through the grades. She’s a laidback filly and the team has done a great job getting her to the races in wonderful order.”Harlow is the second winner for Rich Hill Stud’s young stallion Proisir, who was represented by Tauranga winner Tappy's One last month.