Ontrack Thoroughbreds’ classy sprinter Savanna Amour swept aside any doubts that she was back to her best with an authoritative win in Saturday’s $100,000 Hinkler Handicap at Doomben.
The winner of seven of her 16 starts for earnings of $606,823, Savanna Amour was recording her first win since last September, but most importantly for connections it ended a frustrating period of minor issues.
“After she ran second at Flemington on Derby Day we put her aside to get ready for the major autumn Group One sprints but she had a series of minor issues which kept her from racing,” said Ontrack Thoroughbreds Managing Director Grant Morgan.
“They weren’t major issues but were things like viruses and poor blood profiles and we were never going to risk running her unless we knew that she was 100 per cent.
“It was just a matter of getting her right and being patient. That’s always been Ontrack’s policy with all of our horses and in the end, we saw the benefit of being patient on Saturday with Savanna Amour.
“For me, the confirmation she was back to her best came when she won a trial at Doomben at the end of May and I saw enough that day to say she was back.
“The only issue heading into the Hinkler was the track but she had to run to fit her for the Group One Tatts Tiara in a couple of weeks and thankfully her class got her home.
“It was very fortunate that she had first use of the track and drew a good alley because the ground deteriorated during the day and the best footing was closer to the rails.
“What really helped her cause was a positive ride by Ben Melham. He knew he was on the best horse in the field and rode her accordingly.
“Ben walked the track the afternoon before and established the best footing was two or three spots off the fence and that’s where he positioned Savanna Amour.
“He established where he wanted to be turning for home and maintained that run, pushing the mare through a gap and she did the rest,” said Grant Morgan.
The Group One $500,000 Tatts Tiara at Doomben on June 23 will be Savanna Amour’s next start and Ben Melham will again be in the saddle.
Congratulations to the winning connections of Savanna Amour: Dennis and Del Bates, Laraine Blades, FRF Racing, Haimes Racing, Peter Hanan, Bob and Gladys Harvey, Rob Hill, Paul Kitching, Bill and Glenys Knobel, Phil and Anne Leonard, Danny Lesjak, Paul McGavin, Dave Moretti, Barry Muller, Mark Ostermeyer, Darren Smeath, Dennis and Colleen Walker, Dale Watts.