Ariadne Lavra on song for Nevele R series

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Promising Overport Lodge filly Ariadne Lavra is Ashburton-bound on Saturday for the first $14,999 Nevele R Fillies Heat after a sharp C1-2 win at Invercargill on Saturday, January 28.

Ariadne Lavra, the only horse to defeat promising colt Raukapuka Ruler under race conditions, showed her fitness for this week with a classy south display.

Ariadne Lavra, the winner of five from nine going into the first Nevele R Fillies Series Heat at Ashburton this Saturday.

The daughter of Art Major and Hilarious Lavra settled sixth off the 20m line but some distance from the leader Highland Girl, who had them running from the outset.

Driver Sam Ottley found a one-one sit on the back of fellow 20m marker Bettor Enforce mid-race, but was left to plan the iron filly over the last 1300m when Bettor Enforce pressed to the front for Allan Beck.

Ariadne Lavra wouldn’t be denied, lifting to beat Bettor Enforce and in-form 3YO gelding Baileys Rock, who ran on without threatening the winner, in a strong 3:25.2 for the stand start 2700m (2:02.3 mile rate).

Although a very good time on a day where Classie Brigade paced an astonishing 3:53.5 for 3200m to win the Invercargill Cup, Ariadne Lavra’s run was just under three seconds outside the NZ fillies mark, set by Lancewood Lizzie at Auckland in 2014.

The leaders had the pace on over their last 800m in 56s and closing 400m in 26.8s, which suggests she will be very competitive in her upcoming fillies commitments.

Ariadne Lavra, which racked up her fifth win from nine career starts for breeder-owner, Lavros Lodge principal Kypros Kotzikas, furthered a successful day for the Overport Lodge team of Mark Jones and driver Sam Ottley.

Their Invercargill winners, Ariadne Lavra and Whittaker both confirmed their status respectively for the Nevele R/Macca Lodge Southland Oaks, and Alabar Southern Supremacy Stakes.

Both $45,000 finals will be run at Invercargill on Sunday, April 30.