KAROOLA-trained Arts Bliss ran a track record to win last night's $10,000 North Eastern Pacing Cup and at the same time was elevated into the top category of mares prepared by Dick Eaves.
``She's a very tough and foolproof horse and she's getting close to the former top mares I had like Kanungra Koala, Strezlecki Lady and Lindy's Knight,'' Eaves said.
Arts Bliss ($15.90) was perfectly driven by Troy Hillier and in the home straight beat off gallant backmarker Riverboat Jasper ($4.40) with Melpark Maestro ($6.30) a distant third.
``Its my first cup winner at Scottsdale and I'm so pleased for her owners Lloyd and Judy Whish-Wilson who are originally from Scottsdale and convinced me to put the mare in this race,'' he said.
Arts Bliss's mile rate of 2.02.3 surpassed the previous track record of Biggernbettermax set in 2012 and has opened up a few more doors for the 5yo according to Eaves.
``I was looking at just fillies and mares races for her but maybe she can take a step up now,'' he said.
The Devonport Cup is the next feature race on the Tasmanian calendar and while Eaves said he would give it some thought, he rates that race very hard to win.
Arts Bliss was coming off a sound win at Mowbray last Sunday and before that, she was gallant in defeat when beaten by Delightful Christian in the George Johnston Stakes.
Eaves praised reinsman Troy Hillier for not getting involved in the early speed battle last night.
``I didn't want to see him out and chasing too early and it was a brilliant drive,'' he said.
Eaves was full of praise for runner-up Riverboat Jasper who came off 20m to run second.
``I thought Riverboat Jasper was the horse to beat if he didn't get caught wide and unfortunately that's what happened to him,'' he said.
With replacement driver Adrian Duggan in the sulky Riverboat Jasper made a lightning move around the field early in the race but was trapped three wide and that's where he stayed until the home straight.