A good barrier draw will assist Champagne...
All the money for Thursday’s 2017 Belle Of The Turf Stakes at Gosford was on race favourite Sedanzer but she had to settle for second after missing the kick and trailing home the Joe Pride-trained winner Pecans.
A $50,000 bargain buy for connections including Tricolours Racing & Syndications from Godolphin earlier in the year, Skilled mare Pecans capped off her spring – summer bid with a career best success in the Group 3 $150,000 Gosford RSL Club Belle Of The Turf Stakes (1600m).
The four-year-old took her career record up to a smart four wins and five seconds from a dozen starts, the Belle Of The Turf Stakes her first Group race assignment.
“When we brought her for $50,000, if you said she’d win a Group Three I’d be pretty happy,” Pride told AAP.
“She’s just a good honest mare.”
Pecans was given a peach of a ride from dual and reigning Melbourne Cup winning hoop Corey Brown who was aboard the mare for the fourth time this prep and had her settled just off the pace.
The duo combined two back for a 1300m Warwick Farm win in the mud, before a last start second behind Noire only last Saturday.
The quick back-up proved a non-issue for the rock hard fit Pecans who capitalised on the slow start of the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained favourite Sedanzer.
Having won all three of her lead-up races, Sebring four-year-old Sedanzer was tipped as the one to beat again on Thursday but she struggled under the hefty 59kg top kilos after a less than ideal jump.
Brave in defeat, Sedanzer ($2.70F) and her apprentice hoop Rachel King made up ground and eventually ran a half-neck second to Pecans ($3.20).
“Having top weight on her back I didn’t want to do what I had to do in the end, making a big run around them,” King told Racing NSW stewards after the loss.
“I couldn’t get her to go at all early. She dropped the bit as soon as she jumped out the gates.
”They were two (lengths) ahead of me and I had to go to Plan B.”
In a distant third a further three lengths back rounding out the Belle Of The Turf Stakes trifecta was the Bjorn Baker-trained pacemaker Positive Problems ($13).
“She’s been racing like that all prep so it was a no-brainer what we had to do but it’s another thing to pull it off,” Pride said of Pecans.
“Corey rode her really well to hold off a horse that’s very much in form at the moment.
“When Sedanzer started zooming down the outside I went into panic mode but she’s quite game my mare, and she found enough.”
Pecans will now head to the paddock for a well-deserved rest before returning for a Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival bid in 2018.
“Whether or not she’s going to be able to replicate that in an autumn carnival, Group 3 standard, I don’t know but she’s responded well to what my team has been able to do with her,” Pride said.
As for the beaten favourite Sedanzer, Waterhouse & Bott are weighing up whether or not to press onto a Magic Millions Carnival bid at the Gold Coast in Queensland on January 13.
2017 Belle Of The Turf Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Gosford Race 6 – 28/12/2017
|1||6||PECANS||Joseph Pride||Corey Brown||–||7||54kg||$3.20|
|2||1||SEDANZER||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Ms Rachel King (a)||0.36L||8||59kg||$2.70F|
|3||4||POSITIVE PROBLEMS||Bjorn Baker||Declan McDonogh||3.56L||5||55kg||$13|
|4||8||SAVVAN (NZ)||John O’Shea||Glyn Schofield||3.83L||3||54kg||$11|
|5||5||OUR BELISA||John P Thompson||Blaike McDougall (a)||3.94L||4||54kg||$12|
|6||2||DENMAGIC||David Pfieffer||Tye Angland||4.83L||2||58.5kg||$6.50|
|7||7||MISS BALLANTINE||Chris Waller||Jay Ford||8.46L||1||54kg||$16|
|8||10||HOOGE||Rodney Northam||Ms Rachael Murray||14.16L||6||54kg||$101|
|–||3||SAVOUREUX||Kris Lees||Blake Shinn||–||0||–||–|
|–||9||ROSEITO||Paul Messara||Christian Reith||–||0||–||–|
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