By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
Andre Poutama will be hoping to live every trainer’s dream when he lines-up Ideal Sports Girl in the Gr.1 Magness Benrow Sires’ Stakes Fillies Championship Mobile Pace (1609m) at Alexandra Park on Friday.
It will be the young trainer’s first tilt at Group One glory and he may have the horsepower to produce an upset result in the Auckland feature.
Ideal Sports Girl takes a solid form line into the race, having won two of her last three races and placed last start behind Friday rival Shes No Lady at Alexandra Park last week.
The daughter of Sportswriter burnt off the gate to secure an early lead in that race and was then given a perfect trip in the trail before running on to finish third.
She has drawn the ace barrier on Friday and Poutama is hoping she can get a similar run from that position.
“She has always had great gate speed,” Poutama said. “I knew she would be able to get off and cross them and I planned to get a bit of cover, so it worked out well.
“The plan is to get a similar trip on Friday and she can definitely finish in the top four from the trail again.
“I know she is going to be able to get off the gate, it’s just a matter of who to hand to.”
Poutama is looking forward to Friday and said it is a rewarding feeling to be competing in a Group One with a horse he has handled since a yearling.
“It’s exciting,” he said. “I have pretty much had her from day one. I broke her in, so it’s good to have taken her all the way through to a Group One.
“It was a bit of a buzz the first time she won at Cambridge and then she came out and won another one.
“Even if she came in the top four I would be pretty rapt.”
Ideal Sports Girl had three starts as a juvenile for a placing on debut and Poutama said her COVID-19 enforced break from racing really helped to bring her on.
“She came up well as a two-year-old and had a couple of races, but just took a bit of time. She has still got a little bit of growing to do,” Poutama said.
“The time off definitively helped her and she just seems to be getting better and better.”
Poutama will also line-up Rastasburn in the McGregor Bailey Chartered Accountants Mobile Trot (1609m) and Smokinhotcheddar in the United Cleaning Services Mobile Pace (1609m).
“Smokinhotcheddar has got a lot of ability,” he said. “She has just got to get it all right. She just had a bit of a skip last week where the mobile is parked and I think she just had a look at the tyre marks and jumped out at it.
“The times that she has been running around at Auckland are good enough to say she can win another one. She sat parked to win her maiden and she did that pretty comfortably, she just needs to do it properly, she has definitely got the speed.
“With Rastasburn you never know what he is going to do. He is a head scratcher. We have changed his work a lot and hopefully that will help him. He is just on trust really.”