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Mare puts Final Touch on great season
Alastair Bull
17:20 AEST Sat Feb 9 2013

Final Touch stamped herself as a contender for New Zealand sprinter-miler of the year after winning her third Group One of the season at Te Rapa.

The five-year-old mare sprinted past former Singapore champion Better Than Ever in the straight and then held off Xanadu and Zurella to win the weight-for-age Waikato Sprint (1400m).

The mare's form before this season hadn't suggested she would be a triple Group One winner but her Canterbury co-trainer Karen Parsons said it wasn't her fault.

"She nearly died when she was three. She beat King's Rose in the lead-up to the 1000 Guineas and we thought she was a serious 1000 Guineas horse, but then she got this mystery virus," Parsons said.

"She came back and won races two days apart at four, and then she kicked the rail at home and put a gouge in her leg and bled and bled. We were lucky then to save her."

The Kashani mare put her troubles behind her this season, winning the Captain Cook Stakes and Telegraph Handicap with fast-finishing runs and taking the Waikato Sprint in similar fashion.

"She makes the jockey's job easy," rider Chris Johnson said.

"She's got acceleration that a lot of horses haven't."

Parsons dedicated the win to her close friend Bob Wood, who died during the week.

She said the mare might next take on Ocean Park and Veyron in the Group One Haunui Farm Classic (1600m) in late February.

Xanadu also finished strongly for second and will now head across to Sydney for the Coolmore Classic.

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