The disappointment of missing a start in last weekend's Whanganui Cup was eased for the connections of Hawkes Bay galloper Wait A Sec when he bolted home at Te Rapa on Saturday.
The six-year-old gelding is in the form of his life with Saturday's victory his third from his last four starts. Judging by the manner that he dealt to a capable field of stayers over the 2100 metres of the rating 85 contest, the victory won't be his last for the winter.
Settled towards the rear in a solidly run event, Wait A Sec and rider Samantha Collett were spotting the leaders a dozen lengths before Collett began to improve her position with 800 metres to run. Wait A Sec loped stylishly around the outside to join issue on the point of the home turn and seized a winning break shortly after.
Collett kept her mount up to the mark in the closing stages as he eased well clear of a game Francis Drake who chased hard to grab second from Jochen Rindt who also battled away well for third.
Co-trainer Guy Lowry, who prepares Wait A Sec with training partner Grant Cullen, believes the patience of the gelding's owners is finally being rewarded.
"He seems to have come of age this time in as he has taken a while to mature," he commented.
"He showed plenty of ability early on and ran Kawi close one day at Trentham but he's always been a little weak. His owners have been fantastic and allowed us to be patient with him and they are now reaping the rewards of that."
Lowry believes his charge is now at the stage of this campaign where he can cope with most track conditions although he is wary of flattening the horse with too many runs on the deep winter surfaces.
"He handles most tracks but we don't see him as a true winter galloper," he said.
"I had thought of a race like the Taumarunui Cup as a good target but with it being run at Rotorua it might just be too deep there for him.
"There are still some nice races at Te Rapa coming up so he is likely to have one or two more runs before we put him away for a short break.
"The New Zealand Cup is the sort of race that will suit him so with that in mind he can have a rest soon as you can't keep peaking them all the way to November."
Lowry also reported that talented three-year-old filly Savvy Dreams was thriving during a break at Milan Park following an eventful Australian campaign.
"I took the cover off her at Milan Park on Saturday and she looks a picture," he said.
"She has put on weight and seems to be thriving in a good paddock there so I'm delighted with her.
"We are going to give her a good long spell so you won't see her until later in the summer and in to the autumn. She is a quality individual that I think can compete at Group One level so that will be the aim with her."