Natalie is not the first Rasmussen to steer Self Assured to victory but her win behind the super pacer maintaned an elite record with “JImmy”   for her in the Waikato Flying Mile.

Back from a break from race driving,Natalie drove a typically canny race off the back of Copy That to take out the feature  after having to ease back from the outside draw early.

It was her first winning drive on Self Assured since winning the Auckland Cup with him 12 months ago —–her only other win on the gelding with Spankem being her charge in many of the coinciding features in recent years.

It was only Natalie’s 2nd drive for the season after her amazing strike rate (again) last season winning 24 of 85 drives which, staggeringly, won nearly $1m in stakes.

Her sister, Kylie, posted feature wins with Self Assured as a three year old on a Queensland campaign

Natalie  didn’t have much luck with her first drive back when Sinbad galloped in the straight in the Sires Stakes but it was business as usual when Self Assured lined up.

She waited on Copy That,got the drag into the race and finished off too well. It was another triumph for owner Jean Feiss a long time All Stars fan originally through association with Natalie.

In 12 years driving full time in New Zealand Natalie has won close to $13m in stakes and 350 winners from just over 900 starts. She has had some advantages over close rivals but it is a record unequalled in our harness history.

She has set some astonishing stats including 48 wins from 90 starts in 2017  ($1.6m) a strike rate at top level that stands alone. Her UDR was approaching 7 that season.

Meanwhile Mark would have been more than happy with Akuta’s solid finish into third on Thursday after qualifying With Style for the Sires Stakes Final earlier.

Now its all down to The Race barrier draw on Monday. But who can say Natalie the magician won’t overcome any bad gates  anyway?


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