No denying Opalescence at Trentham

Nuggety northern two-year-old Opalescence gave punters another display of her never-say-die attitude when she fought back strongly to down her age-group rivals over 1200m at Trentham on Saturday.

The Showcasing filly was narrowly beaten on debut when going down to the Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) candidate Preakness at Otaki back in November.

Byerley Park-based trainer Jenna Mahoney trekked back to the Central Districts with her charge for her second raceday appointment at Awapuni just prior to Christmas where Opalescence dashed home against the fence for rider Sam Collet to open her winning account.

Collett was aboard again on Saturday and made full use of an inside barrier draw to position Opalescence  on the pace after she jumped smartly from gate one. Fellow Byerley Park visitor Boomer Hall sat beside her and the pair set the terms out in front throughout.

Although both wobbled around across the tricky Trentham junction at the top of the straight, it was obvious they were going better than their rivals and were going to fight out the finish. Opalescence was clearly headed at the 1 f but fought back doggedly to take the win from a brave Boomer Hall with Piaggio running on stoutly for third.

Mahoney, who also part owns the filly, was all smiles in the Trentham birdcage as she spoke about how she had come to be training her.

"I saw her on and I'm a big fan of Showcasing so I ended up buying her for cheap, as she was a $1,000 filly.

"We're having a bit of fun with her and these Showcasing's they just keep lifting."

Mahoney was pleased with the initiative shown by Collett to take control of the race when nothing else looked like they wanted to lead.

"We weren't expecting to lead and were happy to be crossed but no one wanted to," she said.

"Sam held her there and she found the line nicely.

"She will come back up north next week and will have a bit of a spell then we might set her for something decent in the autumn.

"It might be Matamata (Breeders' Stakes Gr.2, 6 f) but we will wait and see as it's one step at a time with these two-year-olds."

Collett admitted she didn't have a set tactical plan before the race but was happy to lead once she had the filly in a settled rhythm.

"I would have ideally liked to trail but I didn't have a set plan as such," she said.

"I just wanted to make sure wherever she travelled, that she was comfortable.

"She got a little bit lost across the junction but she was really tough to the line.

"She's got a super little racehorse brain where she wants to get on with the job and is willing, so it makes it easy for me."

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