The winner of four races - not as many as Top Tempo, but more than the remainder - Spicey was given a patient run back in midfield, and behind Top Tempo for much of the last lap. Top Tempo raced ahead near the 500m and forged to a clear lead turning in, but halfway down the straight, there was still much to do and she had little left to do it with. Given the benefit of a well-timed finish, Spicey picked her off easily, and Belletti finished strongly at the end to take second.
Spicey was sold by Shard Farm of Invercargill at the Premier Sale for $30,000 to 'Weekly' writer Mick Guerin, one of four he bought at the Sales that year, and a day after he stopped at $150,000 to buy Mombassa at Auckland. Two of the others he later sold at the 2005 Ready To Run Sale, and the other was Ten CC. With Spicey, he bought in Jeanine Browne, Suzanne Herlihy and Steve and Jill Stockman, and their return in less than a year has been over $150,000.
Guerin liked the filly so much he went back last year and bought her brother, who is shaping up well for Herlihy without looking a prospect this season. Guerin has never made a noise about Spicey, in spite of the tidy job she has done. "She's not in the top three fillies in the country, in my opinion," he said. "She's a lovely little rat, and she's never got much bigger than she was when we bought her. It's not the money that's been so good about this, but the people I'm with. They're very good friends, and they all contribute to harness racing in so many ways - far more than me."
Guerin said Tony Herlihy, her trainer, was the key to it all. "He has this strange ability to do the right thing at the right time. I don't know what it is, but it worked for Spicey."
Guerin, a Trackside presenter, was quickly back hosting the Franklin meeting just minutes after being an exuberant audience at Alexandra Park. "It was a huge buzz. I had to go outside, and take a deep breath before going back on. It was the first time I found it hard to concentrate, and I really don't know what I was saying for ten minutes," he said .
Credit: Mike Grainger writing in HRWeekly 21Feb07