Andrew Noblet’s Melbourne raider By The Grace stole the show in South Australia on Wednesday afternoon with an impressive win in the 2015 Balaklava Cup.
Coming off a solid second over 1700m at Flemington four weeks earlier, the God’s Own five-year-old debuted at the Balaklava track from a wide barrier 13 of 15 draw with four time Group 1 winning hoop Claire Lindop in the saddle for the $100,000 Listed The Advertiser Newspapers Balaklava Cup (1600m).
In a first for dual John Letts Medallist Lindop, an ace tactical ride provided the golden girl of South Australian racing with her maiden win in the mile feature.
Overcoming the nasty gate, Lindop timed her ride to perfection after being forced to go back early before bursting into the finish 200m from the line.
By The Grace ($8) had the guts to hold off a host of rivals and stormed home late up along the rails to beat home Brian Mueller’s veteran eight-year-old local hope Little Akie ($21) by one and a quarter lengths.
“We didn’t have many options from the wide gate than to go back,” Lindop said post-win on Wednesday.
“That was always the plan, we didn’t want to be back as far as we were in the run, but fortunately for me today was my day.”
Finishing off the Balaklava Cup trifecta a further two and a bit lengths back for third was the fast finishing Leon & Troy Corstens-trained Supreme Warrior ($9), while race favourite Happy As Hell ($6) could only manage to finish over five and lengths back in sixth.
“I’m very happy to win this race, it’s exciting, especially to win for Andrew,” Lindop said.
“He’s always keeping his horses at Leon’s (Macdonald) when he’s in Adelaide and it’s the same when we take horses to Melbourne.
“So it really feels like a team effort.”
By The Grace now boasts five wins from 22 starts, including three from seven over the mile, for $314,350 in total earnings thanks to the $64,000 first prize for the Balaklava Cup victory.
It was top day for Melbourne horseman Noblet who also won at the midweek Sandown-Lakeside meet back in Victoria with his Big Brown filly Sistine Spirit saluting in a Benchmark 64 over 1200m a half-hour before the Balaklava Cup result.
A half-sister to Noblet’s Group winning stablemates Sistine Angel (2010 McNeil Stakes & Edward Manifold Stakes) and Sistine Demon (2014 Victoria Handicap), Sistine Spirit is on track for bigger and better things according to her trainer.
“Out of all the family she’s one we pinpointed early that will get over ground,” Noblet said.
“I think she’s still six months away from furnishing into a nice filly.
“We might give her another run and then put her away, but we’ll see how she comes though this.
“She’s a lovely horse and relaxes well and has a nice future ahead of her.”
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