A return to a firmer surface has helped Savanna Amour bounce back from a first-up failure to record a narrow victory in the Group Three Stakes at Caulfield.
The John Meagher-trained mare won the Group Two Angus Armanasco Stakes and Group Three Gold Coast Guineas during her autumn preparation.
The four-year-old was beaten nine lengths when seventh in her return to racing on a heavy track in the weight-for-age Bletchingly Stakes last month but got back on to a good track on Saturday and made it count.
With Ben Melham aboard, Savanna Amour was in behind the speed in the 1200m race for mares and needed some luck in the straight before sprinting through when a gap appeared at the 200m.
Savannah Amour ($15), who had blinkers on for the first time, got home by a short head over Flying Jess ($81) with another nose to third-placed Written Era ($21).
Melham said getting back on drier ground was a key.
“She’s hopeless on the wet,” Melham said.
“She had also come on a lot from that first-up run and she looked really good today.
“She worked well here the other morning and back on a firmer surface, she had a few things in her favour.”
Melham said Savanna Amour travelled keenly with the blinkers on in a race which lacked tempo and he said he ended up in a spot where they needed some luck in the straight.
“It was just a matter of praying for a bit of luck and I knew I had the horse there if the luck came, and the luck fortunately came and she was too good,” he said.
Meagher plans to keep Savanna Amour to races against her own sex this spring.
“I’ve just got to have a look now and plan,” Meagher said.