Hasahalo displayed a faultless sense of timing when she bounced back to winning form at Riccarton.
She had failed to flatter in two previous three-year-old appearances before she came from the back with an undeniable finish to claim Saturday’s Gr.1 gavelhouse.com New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m).
Hasahalo had been among the leading fillies last season, winning the Gr.3 Eclipse Stakes (1200m) and finishing runner-up in the Karaka Million (1200m).
“I was really happy with her last run at Ellerslie in a strong Rating 85 race,” trainer Stephen McKee said.
“She got back and never got a clear run and before that she struck a wet track. There was still a question mark about the mile today, but she got the job done well and found the line strongly.”
As is her racing pattern, Hasahalo drifted off the pace and when rider Sam Spratt found clear air at the top of the straight she lengthened stride.
“She went past them like they were tied to the ground,” she said. “When I asked her to go she had fire coming out the back end.”
Hasahalo thundered home to halt Dijon Bleu’s winning run with the southern stablemates and relatives The Lustre and The Sparkle the next two home.
The favourite Prom Queen was first out of the gates for rider Alysha Collett before she settled in the trail and an inside run on the turn saw her get to the front.
However, her bid was short-lived and she petered out to finish ninth, just the second defeat of her career.
“She’s won eight out of 10 so that’s not bad for a three-year-old,” said Kenny Rae, who trains the filly with his wife Lisa and their daughter Krystal Williams. “It’s not a funeral she’s done a great job for us.” – NZ Racing Desk.