The $45,000, Listed, Murdoch Newell Stakes, a race won on debut last year by recent Victorian Derby winner Lion Tamer (Storming Home), was taken out in similar fashion by Miss Upstart (2 B. F. Snippetson – Magic Star, by Danzero) at Pukekohe on Saturday.
Like Lion Tamer, who was required to sustain a sizable sprint from the rear of the field to win the race for two-year-olds over 1100-metres, Miss Upstart also had to be quite superior to her ten rivals.
Requiring to be settled by rider Michael Coleman soon after the start, Miss Upstart positioned second last and at the 600m was seven lengths from co-leaders Brackenwood (Perfectly Ready) and Precise (Perfectly Ready).
She tracked up near the rail before sprinting through to challenge at the 200m and under hands and heels kept charging home to win by one-and-a-half-lengths.
A nose separated Precise and Brackenwood for second and third respectively, while Lady Chapel (King’s Chapel) finished fourth ahead of the favourite Antonio Lombardo (Pins), fifth.
Miss Upstart covered the 1100-metres in 1:04.64 on footing rated Good3.
While eight of the ten runners are eligible for the Karaka Million at Ellerslie on January 30, as graduates of the New Zealand Bloodstock Yearling Sales Series, Miss Upstart shares another likeness with Lion Tamer that she is raced by her breeder and therefore ineligible.
Trained at Matamata by Graham Richardson for Warren Pegg, Miss Upstart had commenced her racing career on the Pukekohe track two starts ago with a promising win on slow footing, yet heavy footing at Trentham tripped her up in the Wellesley Stakes in the interim.
“She didn’t handle the Wellington track at all, and I certainly thought she was a big hope here”, said Richardson. “She tries hard, this was a goal and our next one will probably be aiming towards the Matamata Breeders Stakes.”
Coleman said, “There was plenty of room on the inside which helped me a bit, and they kept shifting out. But I still had to make up four lengths at the 300m and she did it nicely.”