By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
LIKE the classic Shakespearean tale The Taming Of The Shrew, Coffs Harbour trainer Ed Lancaster has helped his mare Peerless Star mend her wicked ways.
"The owners had her down with Neil Godbolt and Debbie Prosser and they were having a lot of problems with her, she was a bit of wild child to start with," he explained.
"They were actually having problems getting shoes on her and things."
When the five year-old came into Lancaster's hands more than a year ago, for some reason she settled down but the trainer is at a loss to explain why.
"She just fell in love with me," he said with a laugh.
"I've got no rhyme or reason but she just fell in love with me, she's never tried to kick me or anything and I haven't had many problems."
What looks to have done the trick is a winter spent in the paddock frolicking around with other mares that Lancaster owns.
"This is the second preparation that I've had her for and I spelled her at my place in between the preparations out with my broodmares," the trainer explained.
"She ran around with them, she was quite happy to be with them and they settled her down quite well because this time in she's just a different horse."
A big mare with a bobbed tail, 'Bobby' has a chance to show how much she's improved in the last race of today's Summer Resorts Race Day at Coffs Harbour.
The 1000m Class 6 handicap is a big step up for the mare with three wins to her name but Lancaster believes the step up in class is of no concern to him.
"She's run a good race in a class four and all the other horses in the race are basically class four horses and class five," he said.
"I'm not scared to take on the others."
Finishing third first up behind Sequalo Lass at the last Coffs Harbour meeting, Lancaster said that he saw enough that day to suggest that win number four is on the cards today despite drawing a wide barrier which is usually a disadvantage from the 1000m chute.
"She jumps out of the machine three lengths in front of anything else, if you look at the video from the last run here, she's jumped in front of every other horse and then sat quiet because we're trying to get her to get over a bit more ground."
An extra furlong of ground is on offer today and Peerless Star shouldn't be dismissed as a woman is known to do anything for love.