Track specialist Spider reaffirmed his love for his home surroundings when he dealt out a beating to his rating 85 rivals at Ruakaka on Saturday.
The Buffalo Man four-year-old cruised home for his fourth career victory, all achieved on home turf, when he scored with plenty up his sleeve in the Marine Engineering Supplies 1400. Prepared by local horsewoman Kim Knight, the gelding had opened his account at the same meeting twelve months earlier and has proven a model of consistency in the interim having finished further back than fourth only three times in 15 starts to date.
Handled to perfection by rider Trudy Thornton, who has been aboard in all of his wins, the showy chestnut took up a handy position throughout the contest as race favourite De Niro set up a breakneck speed out in front. Asked to set out after the pacemaker with 600 metres to run, Spider quickly reeled in the margin and shot two lengths clear with 150 metres to run.
Allowed to ease up in the shadows of the post by Thornton, Spider cruised home by a length from the fast finishing pair of Wolff Spirt and Creative Genius who filled the minor placings.
"Very good," was the succinct description from trainer Kim Knight when questioned about the performance.
"He's a trier and very honest, Trudy knows what she is doing as she knows what he has in the tank."
Knight admitted to some confidence before the race despite a jump in class for her charge who had finished runner-up in rating 75 company at his last run.
"He was up in class but I do think he is up to it," she said.
"He is getting stronger but I haven't thought of anything more for him yet. I just wanted to get through this one and see what we had."