BLACK Friday would have arguably been the 2014 Bathurst Soldier’s Saddle winner if last Friday’s race had another 100 metres added on to the end of it, but now she has another mission.
Bathurst trainer Dean Mirfin will take his third placed finisher from the saddle to Mudgee on Sunday for the Class 1 and Maiden Plate (1,600 metres) as he continues his search for a long awaited win with the Canny Lad mare.
Aside from actually not saluting in the $25,000 feature at Tyers Park, the saddle played out perfectly for Black Friday.
Mirfin’s four-year-old dropped back from the jump as jockey Michael Travers kept plenty of horses in front as planned.
She sat primed in sixth position on the home turn in the 1,400 metres race. The mare then battled ahead of early leader Qamar and was gaining ground quickly on eventual winner Spice Of Life before she ran out of track.
“We were very happy with her run. She was ridden very well in the race and liked we hoped, she hit the line hard at the end. But the race actually ended up being too short for her,” Mirfin said.
“The jockey thought with 250 metres to go she could win the race, but unfortunately there were two in front that she couldn’t run down.”
Black Friday lines up for her 16th start on Sunday, looking to add to her modest $21,000 career winnings with a run to match her saddle effort.
Having placed second in the same class at Hawkesbury against stronger opposition gives Mirfin the confidence that this race could see Black Friday breakthrough for a win.
“It’s a weaker grade race and the extra 200 metres will suit her. She’s pulled up so well. Even a couple of days after the race you wouldn’t have been able to tell,” he said.
“She’s a frustrating horse but she’s much better than her record suggests. If she races like she did at the saddle she will be very hard to beat.”
She will be carrying three more kilograms on top of her weight from the saddle, but plenty more of this field sit closer to her current rating.
Mirfin believes his mare is in the finest form she’s ever shown.
“We’ve always had a good opinion of her. She was one of those fillies who were hard to tame. She’s very seasonal and that’s been one of her biggest problems,” he said.
“This is the best we’ve ever had her. Normally she would have the one or two starts before she’s had enough.”