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David Brideoake’s Mornington-based mare Griante lead a Victorian-trained quinella in the Wenona Girl Handicap 2015 at Royal Randwick on Guineas Day in a strong late effort in the handicap clash.
The mares-only race features a field of 13, Griante jumping out wide from barrier 11 with Hugh Bowman aboard in the $150,000 Group 3 Wenona Girl Handicap (1200m).Bowman and the Good Journey four-year-old were beaten for speed early in the race however and had to settle back off the pace early set by the Luke Griffith-trained Just A Girl who came off back-to-back February wins.
With 650m to go before the line, Bowman made a decisive move that proved the winning one taking Griante out and moving her up into second position outside the leader.
“I was told she was very good with a bit of cover and a sprint,” Bowman said.
“But we were beaten for pace early.
“The pace really slackened so I was able to just roll around without really putting all the engines on.
“Once we got outside the leader she relaxed well.”
Those positions held over the closing stages as did that of 201-1 roughie shot Slots who was positioned in third, Tye Angland riding the Grant Marshall-trained Newcastle galloper first-up.
Over the final couple of hundred metres the back markers started to make their moves including My Sabeel who was ridden cold at the tail of the field before moving up to challenge late.
Griante ($7) however held them all at bay and go to the line first thanks to Bowman’s early move and her own devastating turn of foot, holding off the pacesetter I Love It ($4.80) with a photo between the Kevin Mosses-trained My Sabeel ($8) and Slots ($201).
It was the outsider Slots who put the head down to snare third and finish off the Wenona Girl Handicap trifecta.
“She was tiered late I’ll admit,” Bowman said of the Wenona Girl Handicap winner.
“But she was quite well placed here today.”
Griante came off a nice fourth at Caulfield on February 14 behind Tycoon Tara in the Group 3 Geoffrey Bellmaine Stakes (1200m), and continued the ace form coming out of that race after the winner backed up to also take out the Group 3 Mannerism Stakes (1400m) on February 28.
The Wenona Girl Handicap was her second Group 3 win following a victory in the Sprint Series Final on Caulfield Cup Day during the spring and Brideoake’s son Tom, in Sydney for the hit-and-run mission, said they were now having to step her up because of her improved rating.
“She’s very tough,” he said.
“It was a super effort by the mare and very happy with the result.
“It’s always nice to come on these hit-and-run missions and nick a bit of money from up here and take it down south.
“She won a Group 3 last prep so she’s really gone up in the ratings.
“We’ve had to put her in the deep end.”
Griante is currently nominated for the $1 million Group 1 Queen Of the Turf Stakes (1600m) back at Royal Randwick on April 11, and was a $101 roughie in the markets before her win today.
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2015 Wenona Girl Handicap Results & Finishing Order
Randwick Race 3 – 07/03/2015
|1||3||GRIANTE||David Brideoake||Hugh Bowman||–||11||57.5kg||$7|
|2||10||I LOVE IT||John Salanitri||Blake Shinn||0.5L||5||57.5kg||$4.60|
|3||13||SLOTS||Grant Marshall||Tye Angland||1.3L||4||57.5kg||$201|
|4||7||MY SABEEL (NZ)||Kevin Moses||Tim Clark||1.4L||13||57.5kg||$8|
|5||5||JUST A GIRL||Luke Griffith||Zac Purton||1.9L||12||57.5kg||$10|
|6||8||AMANPOUR||Gai Waterhouse||Kerrin McEvoy||2.3L||3||57.5kg||$21|
|7||11||MIHIRI||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tommy Berry||2.7L||2||57.5kg||$6|
|8||2||FINE BUBBLES||Kris Lees||James McDonald||2.8L||10||57.5kg||$26|
|9||1||SCORPIO QUEEN||Kris Lees||Christian Reith||3.5L||1||58kg||$71|
|10||9||KRISTY LEE||Chris Waller||Jason Collett||3.6L||6||57.5kg||$51|
|11||4||BROOK ROAD||Kris Lees||Brenton Avdulla||4.5L||8||57.5kg||$4.20F|
|12||6||LIESELE||Rodney Northam||Ms Kathy O’Hara||7.1L||7||57.5kg||$101|
|13||12||MINEKO||Gerald Ryan||Sam Clipperton||7.9L||9||57.5kg||$26|
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