Fix just a race away from sewing up series

BARRY LICHTER
Last updated 12:18 10/02/2013

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"Come out and get your photo taken, Gary, this might never happen again," the bystander said as Waikato Racing Club officials prepared to toast Fix after her brave win in the $100,000 Sir Tristram Fillies' Classic at Te Rapa.

"Bloody oath it will happen again," owner Gary Harding replied, positively jumping at his filly's third Group II win on end.

"We've just started, we're on a roll."

And as Harding walked out to receive the prized Waikato trophy, he wasn't just thinking about the immediate future of Fix, who now holds an 8.7-point lead in the NZ Bloodstock filly of the year series.

"I'm looking forward to seeing Bounding start again," Harding said.

"She's running in the Matamata Breeders Stakes, and we'll know more about her then."

Harding's unbeaten 2-year-old is down to clash with Karaka Millions winner Ruud Awakening and yesterday's brilliant debut winner A'larose at Matamata in two weeks.

But trainer Ken Kelso, who prepares both stars for Harding, is keeping mum about his plans for Fix, who could sew up the filly series if she wins the second-last race, the $70,000 Lowland Stakes (2100m) at Hastings on March 2.

While Kelso admits winning the series is a priority, he produced the trainers' catch-cry that he never made decisions on raceday.

"Who knows, I might throw a curved ball at everyone and do something completely different.

"But that was a gutsy win today.

"I told Vinnie (Colgan) to ride her like she's the best horse in the race, and he told me she was better off leading, she'd beaten them all before doing that. We took luck out of the equation.

"She raced a bit keen leaving the straight the first time but she relaxed down the back and showed real kick at the finish."

Harding said he believed Fix was only the sixth filly to capture the big three - the Eight Carat Classic and Royal Stakes at Ellerslie and the Sir Tristram Classic.

Fix, with 27.5 points now leads yesterday's runner-up Soriano, 19, in the filly series, with the winners of the final two races, the Lowland and NZ Oaks, awarded six points and 12 points. The permutations of who can score what by going where, and whether Fix needs to run in the Oaks at the distance of 2400m, which will test her, are sure to exercise Kelso's mind in the coming days.

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