After upsetting the odds-on favourite Catkins in the 2014 Golden Pendant at Rosehill Gardens the world is Arabian Gold’s oyster with David Vandyke now seriously considering a Cox Platecampaign for her in Melbourne next month.
In her four-year-old debut today the always honest daughter of Dubawi showed she’d come through a tough three-year-old campaign and her spell in fine order with a magnificent first-up victory in the $300,000 Group 2 PJ’s Irish Pub Parramatta Golden Pendant (1400m).
Chris Waller’s last start Group 3 Sheraco Stakes winner and Group 1 performer Catkins looked the mare to beat in the feature jumping as the $1.60 top fancy through Ladbrokes.com.au.
She had everything her way too with the favourite brilliant away from the barriers and getting a gun run throughout on the fence after crossing to settle on the rails in third then fourth off the pace set by Gold Epona.
Then she bumped out subsequent third placegetter My Sabeel ($20), runner-up to Catkins in the Shearco the run before, for a run on the straight but still didn’t have the finishing pace to match the flashy winner Arabian Gold and her hoop Blake Shinn.
Catkins ($1.60) was brave in defeat but all the credit went to Arabian Gold ($9) having her first start since a second behind Tinto in the Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Eagle Farm back in late May.
The Golden Pendant winner was given a patient ride by Shinn who took her up along the fence where she flashed home in an excellent performance.
Before the Queensland Oaks second Arabian Gold won three Group races on the trot with back-to-back Group 3 Randwick wins in April and then the Group 2 The Roses (2000m) at Doomben over her subsequent Oaks conqueror Tinto.
Shinn was emotional post-win, thrilled with the mare’s ability to come back and win an early spring feature straight away.
“I can’t tell you how special this is,” he said after the win.
“She’s been such a good horse.
“David Vandkye’s done an unbelievable job in preparing her and bringing her back from a hard three-year-old campaign last autumn.
“Then for her to produce a run like that is just amazing.
“She’s put on about 20 kilos and she’s a bit stronger now and it’s really satisfying and rewarding for the whole team.”
The hoop said the $400,000 Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield Racecourse on October 11 would make a nice next-up start for her with Arabian Gold now having jumped the first hurdle toward an ambitious Cox Plate campaign.
Australasia’s weight-for-age championship, the $3 million Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m) runs at Moonee Valley Racecourse on October 25.
Shinn certainly believes Arabian Gold could stack up to that company too with plenty of upside and condition to come from her as she’s stepped up to her more preferred distances of 1600m – 2000m.
“Onward and upward to the spring carnival,” he said.
“There’s some obvious targets like the Toorak Handicap in a couple of weeks’ time, a race I can’t ride her in.
“Today was a stepping stone towards the Cox Plate path and if that was any indication I think she’s well on track.”
If she does make the Cox Plate field she’ll be given the chance to become the first winning mare in the classic since the ill-fated Pinker Pinker in 2011.
Vandyke was also emotional after the win and thrilled both with his winning mare and her patient hoop Shinn.
“I’m welling up too,” he said.
“100% to this bonnie mare, she’s come back and the world’s her oyster at the moment after this performance.
“She’s an amazing mare and this is her fifth straight carnival. She did Sydney, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and now this carnival here.
“We were debating whether we’d miss this carnival but she just said ‘bring me back I want more’.
“It’s been such a team effort to get her back to this point.
“I said to Blake today ‘just look after her, I just want to come through this in good order’ and he did exactly that.
“She looks pretty happy there coming back in.
“It’s been a fantastic journey…for her to win this feature race today I just can’t put it into words.”
Arabian Gold’s price in the Cox Plate betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au is sure to be slashed after her win today, updated odds opening soon.
So head to Ladbrokes.com.au now to get in on the action and back your early favourites in the classic for value at the bookie that does it better!
2014 Golden Pendant Results & Finishing Order
Rosehill Race 7 (4:25pm) – 27/09/2014
|1||2||ARABIAN GOLD||David Vandyke||Blake Shinn||–||2||57kg||$9|
|2||1||CATKINS||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||0.5L||6||58kg||$1.50F|
|3||6||MY SABEEL (NZ)||Kevin Moses||Tye Angland||1.3L||10||56kg||$18|
|4||7||NEENA ROCK||John Sargent||Tommy Berry||1.7L||9||56kg||$10|
|5||8||FINE BUBBLES||Kris Lees||Brenton Avdulla||1.8L||11||56kg||$41|
|6||3||CHINTZ (NZ)||Joseph Pride||Tim Clark||2.9L||1||57kg||$21|
|7||11||LORNA MAY||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||James McDonald||4.3L||4||54kg||$20|
|8||4||MYAMIRA||Rodney Northam||Robert Thompson||4.4L||8||56kg||$31|
|9||5||ESTONIAN PRINCESS||Scott Aspery||Kerrin McEvoy||4.7L||7||56kg||$26|
|10||12||SAINTLY PRO||Luke Mitchell||Thomas Huet||6L||5||54kg||$201|
|11||10||GOLD EPONA||Kris Lees||Glyn Schofield||6.5L||12||54kg||$101|
|12||9||I’M IN THE MONEY||Jeff Englebrecht||Corey Brown||6.7L||3||54kg||$61|