The Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson-trained 6yr-old bolted away with the 2023 edition of the time-honoured mile, winning by more than three lengths, but was made to work much harder this time around as he survived a torrid home straight scrap with eventual runner-up Dazzling Miss.
Settled in fourth by Te Akau Racing apprentice Niranjan Par-mar, the son of Iffraaj was content to lob along before swooping into contention around the home bend to join issue with Dazzling Miss, who made her challenge closer to the inside rail.
The pair waged war in the closing stages, with Perfect Scenario gaining the upper hand short of the line as race favourite Times Ticking battled on well to shade Ears Back for third.
Bergerson was on duty at Wingatui and wore a smile a mile wide as he celebrated the result.
“Hugely satisfying to see a horse like him go back-to-back as he is just an old marvel to have around the stable,” Bergerson said.
“He is a real favourite of everyone and just plods around doing his own business as he loves stable life.
“He has grown a leg since coming down here and it was a good ride by Parmar.
“I think the key was getting him out wide as he looked like he was floundering at the top of the straight, but as he came wider and wider he found another leg.
“He is such a genuine horse and puts his best foot forward every time he steps out.”
Bergerson believes the horse has plenty of options ahead of him, including the group 1 WFA Classic at Otaki on February 24, a race where he finished fourth behind glamour mares Levante and La Crique in 2023.
“It seems the logical step to keep him down here, but there is the group 1 at Otaki that he contested last year,” he said.
“He is in fantastic form but we’ll take him home and then go from there.”
Perfect Scenario has now won nine of his 34 starts and over $352,000 for the Te Akau Perfection Syndicate, after being purchased by Te Akau Racing boss David Ellis for $165,000 from the Woburn Farm draft during the 2019 Book 1 Sale at Karaka.
In a dramatic start to the race, senior jockey Terry Mosely survived a nasty incident when he was dislodged from Burgie just 30m after the gates opened, but walked unaided back to the barrier seemingly no worse for wear.
Riverton mare Capistrano Rocs, from the Andrea Dickson stable, won the seventh heat of the Otago Daily Times Southern Mile series.
Capistrano Rocs, who was second in the third heat at River-ton, now leads the series by a point.
- By Kevin Robertson
Loveracing.nz News Desk