Zac Spain’s fears that he had overplayed his hand on La Spezia were short lived when the five-year-old mare stormed home from second last to post her first win in nearly a year at Moonee Valley tonight.
The daughter of Toronado took some time find some traction uneasy on the heavy ground in the eight-horse field and at one stage Zac had almost lost hope of success.
Damien Oliver looked set to pinch the race on the $4.40 favourite Versilia who after being inside La Spezia at the 600m suddenly took off three lengths ahead of her nearing the home turn.
Favourite backers were getting the queue when Versilia hit the front and shot more than two lengths clear entering the home straight with La Spezia grinding away on her wide run.
“I thought Ollie was off and gone,” Zac confessed. “Her (La Spezia’s) wheels spun in that heavy going.”
However, despair turned to delight when the La Spezia found her gears.
“Once she balanced up, she showed a good turn of foot,” Zac said.
“She didn’t appreciate the wet track which just added merit to her win.”
La Spezia ($4.60) gapped Versilia in the last 50 metres, surging away to a 2-3/4 length win in the DEC BM70 Hcp (1600m).
The five-year-old has shown a liking for Moonee Valley where she posted her last win in November last year, also over 1600m.
Bred by Mike Palmer, La Spezia has now won four of 15 starts and Friday’s night’s victory took her career earnings to $123,535
Trainer Jamie Edwards said riding La Spezia back off the pace was the key and that 1600m races were ideal for her.
“She’s a really nice, progressive, lightly raced mare and we’ve worked out riding her back really suits her,” Jamie said.
“She was only second up tonight and the timing is great with her getting on the back of the spring.”