Some minor compensation with Te Aroha win

Spare The Moment eased the pain slightly for the connections of the smart mare Moochi Me when scoring a decisive fresh-up win at Te Aroha today.

Cambridge trainer Darrell Lang is still coming to terms with the bleeding attack which robbed Moochi Me of victory in the Gr. 2 NRM Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes at Avondale last Saturday. Moochi Me looked to have the feature event won when she strode up alongside the leader Kelly O’Reilly inside the final 200 metres but then the attack occurred and she had to settle for second.

“It was so disappointing,” said Lang, who also part-owns Moochi Me. “It’s such a shame as it was her chance to show how good she is. I’ve always rated her so highly and to win a Group Two would have proved it.

“Michael (rider Michael Coleman) said she just cruised up to the leaders and it was only a matter of what she would win by.

“But at least we’ve still got a horse. She has looked good since the race and she’ll be back.”

In the meantime Spare The Moment could be the horse to fly the flag for Lang, who prepares the seven-year-old for Moochi Me’s part-owner, Anna Rutten.

Spart The Moment has been lightly raced, with just nine starts on the board, and Lang pulled off a fine training achievement to have him in winning form today in his first outing since last March.

He did have a recent trial at Te Aroha and, though not doubting the horse’s ability, Lang was worried he might need today’s run.

“I thought he could be a run short,” said Lang. “He’s a rating 65 horse and I ran him out of his grade today (in a rating 75) so it was a top effort. He’s a pretty smart horse and he’s raced against some good ones.”

Spare The Moment did not begin racing until two years ago and broke through for his first win a year later at Te Rapa with a series of setbacks causing his time on the sideline. He then ran second to the capable Brah Spring at Ellerslie and in his next two starts he was also runner-up at Ellerslie, to Demandz on New Year’s Day and to Equanimity on Karaka Millions day.

Spare The Moment was unplaced behind In Style and Beauty’s Beast at Ellerslie last March and bounced back later than month to finish fourth on the track under 60kg.

Reese Jones has been aboard in each of Spare The Moment’s starts since his first two outings and he rated the son of Barely A Moment nicely in front today.

When asked for an effort in the home straight, Spare The Moment responded well to kick away and score by three and a half lengths from the favourite Lady Royale, a Rating 74 filly who won the Gr. 2 Swap Matamata Breeders’ Stakes last February.

“He has a low head carriage but you get used to riding him,” said Jones. “He’ll win more, that’s for sure.”