A filly purchased by Toowoomba truck driver come trainer Gary Bein could target a $500,000 pay day with Immovable Site on target for the upcoming TJ Smith in Brisbane.
The two-year-old daughter of Irish sire Immovable Option out of Snippets mare Site was purchased by Bein and his partner Bev Spendelove for a modest $2,000 as a yearling.
“We bought this filly from the QTIS600 sale and she only cost us $2,000,” Spendelove said.
After a rocky start running 10th on debut at Eagle Farm last November and then finishing six lengths away eighth to Military Grace in the Listed Calaway Gal Stakes (1000m) the following month, Immovable Site broke her maiden status this April.
In a gutsy run the up-and-coming filly held on to defeat Crazy Mamma by a half-neck in a 1200m handicap at the Gold Coast before finishing third at her next start in Doomben over 1350m.
On Wednesday Immovable Site again entered the winner stall when taking out the Brisbane Bloodstock Bonus Handicap (1400m) by an impressive three quarters of a length over Tenacious Jack on a Slow Eagle Farm track.
Now Bein intends to aim his sole horse at the lucrative Brisbane Winter Carnival features with the $500,000 Group 1 The TJ Smith (1600m) at Eagle Farm’s Stradbroke Handicap Day in June the main aim.
There were 173 early The TJ Smith nominations this year including two-year-olds of the highest class such as John Thompson’s Group 1 Champagne Stakes runner-up Pane In The Glass and fourth placegetter Boys On Tour, and the Gillian Heinrich-trained stakes winner Military Grace.
To date Bein’s biggest success as a trainer was when his handy Moon Rocket mare Miss Watagan won the Listed C.E. McDougall Stakes (1200m) and Listed Tommy Smith Slipper (1200m) back-to-back during December of 2006 as a two-year-old.
Miss Watagan’s impressive form in Brisbane saw Bein take her to Sydney to chase Group glory, but she failed to place in her three starts there when fourth in the Silver Slipper Stakes, ninth in the Sweet Embrace Stakes and sixth in the Reisling Stakes that year.
In other TJ Smith news, premier Sydney trainer Peter Snowden has six of his stable juveniles entered for the race with Kernel, Haut Normandie, Free Wheeling, Benfica, Atsuta and Angelus.
Snowden and the Darley Racing operation enjoyed a white-wash in the 2YO Group Ones during the autumn with superstar colt Sepoy taking out the Blue Diamond Stakes and the Golden Slipper before smart stablemate Helmet won the Inglis Sires Produce – Champagne Stakes double.
Of Snowden’s TJ Smith hopefuls, both Benfica and Free Wheeling have been accepted for Saturday’s $70,000 Bacardi Handicap (1250m) at Canterbury.
The first race on the Canterbury card attracted just five final accepters, which could be further shortened to four as Snowden is unlikely to run both in the event.
“I’ll probably only start one of them and I’m not sure which one as yet,” Snowden said.
“Both are on trial for Brisbane.”
Well-bred Lonhro colt Benefica has had just two starts to date when winning the Blackwoods Handicap (1100m) at Rosehill on debut last December before a close second to Schiffer in the AJC Corporate Membership Handicap (1200m) at Randwick on Boxing Day.
“This is the end of the two-year-old season and I’m looking to get him to 1350 metres and then the 1400 metres of the Sires up there and then the TJ Smith at a mile,” Snowden said.
“I think those races will suit him.”
The Group 2 QTC Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) runs at Eagle Farm on June 4, a week prior to the TJ Smith.
Ad Valorem colt Free Wheeling has also had just the two career starts when fourth in the AJC Corporate Membership Handicap on debut before finishing third to Bossdon City in TheRaces.Com.Au Handicap (1100m) at Rosehill in January.
Although still a maiden, Snowden has plenty of confidence in Free Wheeling’s ability.
“Both his starts have been good, he’s a nice horse and I’ve always had a bit of time for him,” Snowden said.
“At this stage I’m leaning towards running him on Saturday, but I’ll think about it a bit more between now and then.”