SCOTTS Creek trainer Anthony O’Connor says a recent spell for his pacer Abbey Fields has helped the horse’s development.
The five year-old mare recorded its first win since returning from a spell at Stawell in the 1785 metre Shelton and Lane Printers Pace last Wednesday.
It was the pacer’s third career win, which came at its 31st start and at the fourth outing of its current preparation.
O’Connor said he expected Abbey Fields to be competitive in the event given the horse had returned to NR 52 to 55 class.
The pacer had raced in NR 55 to 65 and NR 55 to 65 classes in her previous two events at Terang and Ballarat on July 22 and 18 respectively.
“We expected her to go fairly well,” O’Connor said.
“She just needed a couple of races to get fit and she had been racing above her class.
“She had a couple of races in those higher classes but she was dropping back to her normal class.
“I was surprised at the price she was, we thought she would go well.”
Driven by O’Connor’s son Xavier, Abbey Fields made an early attempt to cross for the lead from gate three.
However, she was unable to get fully across the field and was forced to sit wide outside the leader Tuesdays Edition for the majority of the event.
Abbey Fields quickly burst clear as the field straightened the home corner but has forced to hold off Corporal Bill in the shadows of the post to claim victory.
O’Connor said he was pleased to see Abbey Fields fight out the final metres, which he considered a sign of improvement.
“She tried to lead but couldn’t get across so she sat in the death seat and then stuck on pretty well,” he said.
“I think this time in she’s a lot stronger which is a big plus too.
“About 12 months ago she just wasn’t strong enough but last time she only had one start, and this time in she’s come back a lot stronger and better.”
O’Connor and Abbey Fields are now set to venture to Terang this evening to contest the 2180 metre TAB Long May We Play Pace at 7.30pm.
He said he expected the daughter of Shadow Play to again be competitive and believes she still has more improvement ahead of her this campaign.
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