Patience paying dividends with quality mare Faithful Feat

Five-year-old mare Faithful Feat (NZ) (Per Incanto) will be aimed at black-type assignments this campaign after a dominant victory in an open handicap over 1300m at Te Rapa on Saturday.

The Peter Lock-trained daughter of Per Incanto was narrowly beaten when second in the Gr.2 Westbury Classic (1400m) won by Dragon Queen last season and the aim will be to tick the black-type box this season.

Given a positive ride by Sam Spratt on Saturday, Faithful Feat was driven to the front from an outside barrier (12) and once there was able to control the tempo and kick away from her rivals which included Dragon Queen, who finished three-and-a-half lengths away in second.

Faithful Feat was second-up, having come on a lot for her first up ninth in the Listed Legacy Lodge Sprint (1200m) at Te Rapa earlier this month.

“We’ve held this mare in high regard for such a long time and the other day we thought we had her around the mark but she came to the end of it without a trial,” Lock said.

“She is a very good horse and I just hope she carries on with it.

“Sam (Spratt) was really happy with her run last start and said we were a run away. The fact she wanted to stick with her was a good sign. Sam is a great rider and she really suits this horse.”

Faithful Feat advanced her record to six wins and three placings from 14 starts and will be seen back at Te Rapa on December 10.

“She came through the race exceptionally well. At this stage our plan is to head to the J Swap Sprint (Gr.3, 1400m) at Te Rapa in two weeks’ time,” Lock said.   

“It is a $100,000 race and hopefully she gets a better draw this time.”

Longer term the Westbury Classic is again on the agenda for Faithful Feat, while the lightly-tried mare also holds a nomination for the Gr.1 Thorndon Mile (1600m).

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 Group Three winner Hiflyer (NZ) (Tavistock), who was Group One placed on two occasions, including when third to Stolen Dance in the 2018 Thorndon Mile.

“Up to 1400m she is very good. We have got her nominated for the Thorndon Mile (Gr.1, 1600m) and whether she gets the distance is always a question,” Lock said.

“I went so close to winning the Thorndon with Hiflyer and I would love to have a crack at it with her. I think she is up to a race like that.”

Lock said the temperamental mare had been a handful, hence the reason she is relatively lightly raced.

“You have got to have someone with her all the time. She is temperamental but you don’t mind doing that when they’ve got as much ability as her,” he said.

“All credit to the owners. They have been very patient. She won three of her first four trials at two and three. We never went to the races because she wasn’t mentally ready to go.

“They were patient and backed my judgement and she has just gone onwards and upwards and I think this season will be her best. She has really matured and come of age. She is much stronger and I’d love to get her a good bit of black-type for the owners and she is going to end up a beautiful broodmare.”

Meanwhile, Lock was pleased with the run of stablemate Dawn Jessie who finished ninth in the Gr.3 Eagle Technology Stakes (1600m) won by Prise de Fer.

“I was over the moon with the run. She is a 2000m metre horse and she pushed into the race early because she was never going to sprint again,” Lock said of the eight-time winner. “Both horses were in high quality fields on Saturday and Dawn Jessie is not a real miler and she will be really competitive at her next start over 2000m.”

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