Trainer Peter Lock admits he has plenty of battles with progressive mare Faithful Feat (NZ) (Per Incanto) and is hoping he has won the war after she made it back-to-back wins with a comprehensive victory at Matamata on Saturday.
The daughter of Little Avondale Stud-based stallion Per Incanto relished the Slow7 track conditions as she bolted clear in the home straight for rider Matt Cameron, taking out the Stella Artois 1500 Championship Qualifier (1400m) by a comfortable three length margin.
Lock was keen to see his charge continue to make improvement from a similar victory over 1400m at Awapuni a fortnight earlier and received the answer he was looking for in emphatic fashion.
“She is a very nice mare, but she has been a real handful ever since I got her,” Lock said.
“We have had our battles, but with a little maturity on her, she is starting to put it all together.
“We’ve had the visor blinkers on her and even with those Matt said she wasn’t concentrating that well.
“We took them off and put the full blinkers on today and he said the difference was amazing, as it felt like she still had a couple of gears up her sleeve at the finish.”
While the race was a qualifying event for the $90,000 Stella Artois Final (1500m) at Ellerslie on Boxing Day, Faithful Feat isn’t eligible for the race after Lock had felt it in her best interests not to put any extra pressure on her by nominating for the series.
“We just didn’t think she would stand up to being pressured to make the final of a series like this one when the initial nominations were due,” he said.
“She just isn’t the type I can do that to, so we decided to take a patient approach and pick and choose her targets.
“Her owners have been just superb as they have left me to work with her in the manner I choose and haven’t pressured me in any way.
“They are going to reap the benefits now as I do think she can make it at a higher level.
“There are some really nice fillies and mares’ races coming up at Auckland and Trentham over the next two months, so she can have a little break now and then we will bring her back for those.”
Bred and raced by Ian MacDonald and Peter Hart, Faithful Feat is out of the Snitzel mare On Yer Feet, a half-sister to Lock’s multiple stakes winner Hiflyer (NZ) (Tavistock) and has won three of her 8 starts.
She is also closely related to 2003-04 Champion Hong Kong miler Lucky Owners (NZ) (Danehill) and dual Australian Group One winner Mosheen (Fastnet Rock).