Top notch birthday ride

Guillocharm (Sam Spratt) giving Cambridge trainers Tim and Margaret Carter their third win for the season.

Sam Spratt produced a pearler of a ride on her birthday yesterday, much to the delight of Cambridge trainers Margaret and Tim Carter.

The Carters prepare Guillocharm, the first of Spratt’s two winners at the Tauranga meeting (the other was the favourite Veine D’Or), and it was the popular hoop’s performance which saw the four-year-old son of Guillotine crack maiden ranks in the Gartshore Construction 1600.

Guillocharm started from the outside barrier, but Spratt was determined not to be trapped wide on him.

She snagged Guillocharm back at the start and once clearly behind the second-last horse she angled to the inside fence and had soon worked him into a midfield position.

Though held up shade when attempting to angle off the fence early in the run home, Guillocharm was always travelling like a winner and once he ranged up to challenge 200m from the finish he soon put the issue beyond doubt.

The Stephen Marsh-trained Southern Queen tried to make a race of it inside the final 100m, but Guillocharm was too strong and won by a half-length.

“I wish I could ride them all like that,” quipped Spratt after dismounting.

“He was a bit slow out and I didn’t want to get stuck out in no-man’s land if I kicked up so I pulled him back and got across. It all feel into place nicely.”

Margaret Carter was full of praise over Spratt’s ride.

“It was a brilliant ride from the outside gate,” she said.

“He trained on well from last time and we thought he’d go well. The draw was a worry, though.”

Guillocharm was having his seventh start and had been placed on three occasions, including a lead-up third at Te Rapa when ridden for the first time by Spratt.

In the Te Rapa race over 1600m he was beaten a head and a short head by Noble Star and was doing his best work over the final stages.

“He’s a bit quirky and he’s still putting it all together,” Spratt said.