The confidence of Sunshine Coast horseman Stuart Kendrick proved well justified on Saturday when his progressive daughter of Not A Single Doubt Doubtfilly scored a win over the boys in the Ascot Handicap 2013 at Eagle Farm.
Three-year-old Doubtfilly went out as a $5 chance in the $80,000 Listed PMP Limited Ascot Handicap (1200m) despite her distant last start 15th beating home just one other runner in the Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) at fortnight earlier.
However the Damien Browne-ridden filly relished the step back in class and distance on Queensland Cup Day and was too hard to hold out from her nice barrier two draw in the Ascot Handicap, Browne’s first official start on her.
“I’ve been trying to get on her back for 12 months and I thought she was capable of winning a race like this,” he said.
After a lovely ride Doubtfilly had a long neck to spare on the line over the Rob Heathcote-trained veteran Griffon ($7.50) with Kelso Wood’s $3.70 favourite Benny’s Buttons the same distance away in third.
It was a thrillingly close finish too with just over half a length separating the first five over the line with Desleigh Forster’s Shafeeq fourth and Heathcote’s other runner Funtantes fifth.
Doubtfilly didn’t do it easy however and Kendrick admits he was worried with 300m to go.
“She hits a flat spot in her races and I was worried for a while there today but she really puts in at the finish,” he said on Saturday.
It was something the trainer and warned Browne about pre-race so he was prepared, preparation that proved crucial.
“Stuart warned me before the race that she can hit a flat spot and that’s exactly how it panned out,” Browne said.
“When I came out at the 300 metres to make my run I thought she’d win easily then 100 metres further on I thought she’d run third or fourth but to her credit she really knuckled down at the finish.”
While scarves and beanies are still the order in the sunshine state for another month or so yet, Kendrick is already drafting up a summer campaign for Doubtfilly during the Magic Millions Carnival on the Gold Coast over an earlier Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival prep.
“She’ll probably run in the first two legs of the Summer Series then we’ll look at a race like the fillies and mares’ Magic Millions race,” he said.
“Obviously it would be nice to have a runner in Melbourne during the spring but I think we’ll more than likely keep her up here.”
For now Kendrick is just happy to celebrate her maiden black type trophy.
“She’s finished fourth in a Golden Slipper and third in the Gai Waterhouse Classic at Listed level but winning today puts that extra bit of value on her,” he said.
“Things haven’t really gone her way this carnival but I always thought this race would be a good option for her before she goes to the paddock.”
The full 2013 Ascot Handicap results can be found in the table below.
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2013 Ascot Handicap Results & Finishing Order
Eagle Farm Race 7 – 06/07/2013
|1||12||DOUBTFILLY||Stuart Kendrick||Damian Browne||–||2||56kg||$5|
|2||3||GRIFFON||Robert Heathcote||Glen Colless||0.2L||7||57.5kg||$7.50|
|3||6||BENNY’S BUTTONS||Kelso Wood||Ryan Wiggins||0.4L||4||56kg||$3.70F|
|4||9||SHAFEEQ||Desleigh Forster||Kirk Matheson (a)||0.5L||8||56kg||$18|
|5||4||FUNTANTES||Robert Heathcote||Bobby El-Issa||0.6L||1||57kg||$12|
|6||10||METALLURGICAL||John P Thompson||Timothy Bell||1.8L||3||56kg||$17|
|7||13||ALCANCIA||Barry Lockwood||Paul Hammersley||1.9L||9||56kg||$17|
|8||11||DOUBTFUL JACK||Kelly Schweida||Sam Clipperton (a)||2.3L||10||56kg||$31|
|9||2||DELAGO BOLT||James Lyons||Anthony Allen (a)||2.8L||5||57.5kg||$5|
|10||8||LIESELE||Liam Birchley||Larry Cassidy||4L||6||56kg||$7.50|
|–||1||LISTEN SON||Tony Gollan||Ryan Wiggins||–||0||–||–|
|–||5||WAR ENDS||Toby Edmonds||Eddie Wilkinson||–||0||–||–|
|–||7||EMOTIONAL CIRCUS||Kris Lees||Jim Byrne||–||0||–||–|