Three-year-old gelding Military Zone capped off...
Multiple Group 1 winner Bonneval has stamped herself as a mare to follow through the Spring Carnival with an impressive first-up win in the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at The Valley this afternoon.
Trainer Murray Baker was not confident that Bonneval was a winning chance in the Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes first-up and the mare was settled towards the tail of the field after jumping well.
Race favourite Star Exhibit reared at the gates and dropped jockey Mark Zahra, and appeared as though he would cause some issue in transit; weaving between runners and running on to the fore of the field.
Experiencing a carefree run in transit away from the issues on pace, jockey Damien Lane began working Bonneval through the field as the group turned for home and was faced with a clear racing line with 200m to travel.
Immediately responding when asked for an extra effort, the Makfi mare locked in a fierce sprint battle with Abbey Marie, but was too good in the final strides of the race.
In being crowned the Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes winner, Bonneval has now claimed ballot-free entry into the Ladbrokes Cox Plate, however Baker confirmed that she remains on a path towards the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) this season.
“She’s a good filly, very honest and has a bit of that Zabeel in her,” Baker said after the race.
“She’s tough and kicks at the finish. She’s probably fitter than I thought she was, but it’s a bit tough to judge them when you come from New Zealand.
“Its been the wetness winter in New Zealand for forty years and Lizzie L’Amour easily beat her in a trial at Taupo and we thought that if she could be running on for fifth or sixth, we’d be happy.
“She’s got that electric turn of foot at the end of her races.
“She’s targeting the Caulfield Cup obviously, but we’ll just wait and see. We haven’t mapped out her next race yet.”
Jockey Damien Lane delivered a smart performance aboard Bonneval this afternoon and
“She’ll improve off that run too. She’s still got her New Zealand winter coat on her and she’ll benefit fitness-wise too,” Lane said.
“I had a pretty uninterrupted run (away from Star Exhibit), so I was lucky in that regard and she did the rest.
“To be given the opportunity on some of his (Murray Baker) horses is just a great thrill and happy I could get the win.”
Bonneval has firmed into $9 Caulfield Cup odds with leading online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au.
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