The owners and co-trainer cast contrasting figures after superstar filly Prom Queen returned to action with a breath-taking win at her home track of Ruakaka this afternoon.
The syndicate, many of them locals, whooped, clapped and sang as the Super Easy filly returned to scale, then flooded into the Dean Logan Winners’ Circle and filled it to capacity. But throughout all the post-race excitement, Kenny Rae was visibly shaking.
“I was so nervous,” he admitted to www.theinformant.co.nz. “I don’t normally get nervous before a race, but I was so, so nervous today.”
In the end there was no need for nerves as the $1.70 favourite, racing right-handed for the first time, settled nicely outside the early leader Bombard.
She was dwarfed by that rival in size and was barely visible as the field approached the home turn, but Prom Queen hogged the spotlight in the straight as she bounded away with ease.
Racing a little greenly in the last 150 metres and under a hands-and-heels ride from Alysha Collett, she scored by six lengths.
“That was unbelievable, and especially after she drew so wide,” said Rae, who owns a share of Prom Queen and trains her in partnership with his wife Lisa and their daughter Krystal Williams.
“If she’d drawn one, maybe she could have won by 10!”
Prom Queen has now had seven starts for six wins and a placing. She won two Listed races at Riccarton last season and has earned more than $110,000 in prize-money. Her last three wins have come by a combined margin of more than 20 lengths.
Collett has been aboard for six of Prom Queen’s races and has now guided her to five wins.
“That was easy,” she said. “She’s really fast and could easily have won by a bit more.”
Prom Queen’s main spring target is the Gr. 1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas in November at Riccarton, where Prom Queen is unbeaten in five starts.
The Gr. 3 Northland Breeders’ Stakes at Ruakaka in two weeks is expected to be her next target before she heads south in October. The Listed John Grigg Stakes at Ashburton on October 21 could be her final lead-up run before the fillies’ classic.