Classy six-year-old Steps In Time has led from start to finish to claim a maiden Group 1 title in the featured Coolmore Classic at Rosehill Gardens this afternoon, beating a fast-finishing Sweet Idea on the line, pre-post favourite Catkins rounding out the places.
Jumping particularly well from the gate, jockey Jim Cassidy immediately led the Danehill Dancer mare to the front, dictating pace and terms over the back straight ahead of Sweet Idea and Longport before opening a near-ten length gap to her closest competitor rounding onto the final straight and just managing to hold on for the win upon reaching the line.
Trainer Joseph Pride was delighted with the performance by both horse and rider, but admitted he was a bit nervous over the Coolmore Classic’s dying stages.
“It was probably a bit of a bold call to take her here second-up today but I just thought it was the best way to go with her” Pride said following the race.
“Bold ride from Jimmy, he only just got it right but when it comes off it all looks good.
“She had a good trial the other day and we came here today having been narrowly beaten by Catkins and made her a bit better on the weights.
“I knew she’d improve and I just couldn’t be happier with the result.
“She’s got the Group 1 beside her name now so she’s got fantastic pedigree.”
While looking to have broken away from the pack slightly too soon when quickly fading in the final 100 metres, Cassidy delivered what turned out to be a perfectly-timed ride on the talented six-year-old and revealed he was confident his pre-race plan would be successful if in good position rounding the bend
“I said to Joe if I can get cheap sectionals early and stay out a little bit wide and they come back underneath me, 600 from home I’m pedal to the medal; make the other ones carry their weight” Cassidy said after recording his 102nd win at Group 1 level.
“I knew they couldn’t come from behind me and beat me, but I knew Sweet Idea was going to be close.
“Great training performance; she had one run hard trial that we used as a race.
“He’s a freak, Joe, my job is easy I’ve just got to try and win on them but they’ve got to get them here in one piece for the Group 1’s.”
Likely to retire from racing and take up a breeding career this year, a final tilt at the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) in April is shaping as the last major event for Steps In Time.
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2014 Coolmore Classic Results
|1||4||STEPS IN TIME||Joseph Pride||Jim Cassidy||–||7||57kg||$8|
|2||9||SWEET IDEA||Gai Waterhouse||James McDonald||0.1L||9||54.5kg||$21|
|3||1||CATKINS||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||2.4L||13||58kg||$4.20F|
|4||11||A TIME FOR JULIA||Peter G Moody||Glen Boss||2.7L||3||54kg||$12|
|5||2||ROYAL DESCENT||Chris Waller||Nash Rawiller||2.8L||12||58kg||$13|
|6||17||SCORPIO QUEEN||Les Kelly||Craig Newitt||2.9L||2||53.5kg||$61|
|7||8||SHARNEE ROSE||Kris Lees||Brenton Avdulla||3.1L||1||55kg||$9.50|
|8||14||REAL SURREAL||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Corey Brown||3.3L||15||53.5kg||$14|
|9||15||GYPSY DIAMOND||John O’Shea||Kerrin McEvoy||3.4L||16||53.5kg||$31|
|10||10||BONARIA||Pat Hyland||Tim Clark||3.7L||8||54.5kg||$18|
|11||3||DEAR DEMI||Clarry Conners||Damien Oliver||3.9L||10||57.5kg||$9|
|12||16||LUCIA VALENTINA (NZ)||Kris Lees||Chad Schofield||4.1L||6||53.5kg||$26|
|13||6||FIRE UP FIFI||Robert Heathcote||Damian Browne||4.7L||11||56kg||$26|
|14||7||HANA’S GOAL (JPN)||Kazuhiro Kato||Craig Williams||5.3L||14||56kg||$9|
|15||5||ARINOSA||Chris Waller||Blake Shinn||8.1L||4||56kg||$17|
|16||12||LONGPORT||Danny J Bougoure||Jay Ford||13L||5||54kg||$41|