The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
The pride of New Zealand, Probabeel renewed her rivalry with the Chris Waller-trained Funstar in the 2020 Epsom Handicap results that saw the two class fillies run the quinella over the boys in the million-dollar mile classic at Randwick.
Jamie Richards’ Kiwi-trained daughter of Savabeel continued her outstanding form at the Randwick in the Group 1 $1 million Epsom Handicap (1600m) having her ninth run there for her third win.
The now four-year-old celebrated Group 1 win number two having also beaten home Funstar in Surround Stakes (1400m) at the same course back in February.
The Epsom saw Probabeel and Waller’s Adelaide mare Funstar, winner of the Group 1 Flight Stakes over the Randwick mile on the same day 12 months ago, face off for the seventh time.
The honours again went to the Kiwi raider Probabeel who backed-up from her good win in the Group 3 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m) from September 19, relishing a drop in weight from 57kg that day to just 52.5kg in the Epsom.
Kerrin McEvoy retained the ride and enjoyed his first win in the classic giving Probabeel a lovely run, despite racing three wide in the second half, and producing her at the right time.
Roughie hope Niccanova took up the lead in the Epsom sitting ahead of the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained Riodini, while jockey Glen Boss moved forward to position Funstar third in the run.
With 500m to go approaching the turn, the gap between the front runner and the rest began to close, and McEvoy made his move on Probabeel bringing her into the race onto the straight.
At the 250m it was Funstar ($10) and Probabeel ($6.50) fighting it out over the final furlong, the latter taking the lead from her long-time rival to hit the line a length ahead.
In a photo for third, Riodini ($16) held off Yulong Prince ($21) in a brave effort to round out the Epsom Handicap trifecta off the on-pace run.
“She just loves this track and the mile – she just savages the line. They’ve done a great job with her the team. Ashley Handley has done a fabulous job looking after her, she’s been here all the way through the autumn, and congratulations to Jamie too,” Jamie Richards’ stable rep Craig Thornton said after the race.
“We won the Group 1 with Melody Belle back at home as well. David Ellis selected this mare as a yearling. She won the Karaka Million as a two-year-old.
“This is a big deal for New Zealand racing and for Jamie, he’s a young trainer on the rise, he’s done a fabulous job.
“We’ve had a trouble-free run and she’s just a gorgeous mare to do anything with and everything’s gone to plan.
“We may look at Melbourne now but we will see how she gets through this and make some plans.”
If not Melbourne, Probabeel may be set for the $7.5 million The Golden Eagle (1500m) for four-year-olds at Rosehill on October 21.
Kolding (2019) completed the Epsom Handicap – The Golden Eagle double last spring and the latest all-in odds on the latter at Ladbrokes.com.au have Probabeel at $8 to repeat the feat.
The mare is at $12 in the all-in markets – available in full here – for Flemington’s Group 1 $1.5 million Cantala Stakes (1600m) on the same day in Melbourne.
2020 Epsom Handicap Results
|1||11||PROBABEEL (NZ)||Jamie Richards||Kerrin McEvoy||15||52.5kg||$6.50|
|2||12||FUNSTAR||Chris Waller||Glen Boss||1L||16||52.5kg||$10|
|3||17||RIODINI (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Ms Winona Costin||1.2L||11||50kg||$16|
|4||7||YULONG PRINCE (SAF)||Chris Waller||Sam Clipperton||1.3L||2||54kg||$21|
|5||16||LOOKS LIKE ELVIS||Jarrod Austin||Ms Jess Taylor||1.6L||7||50kg||$61|
|6||14||COLETTE||James Cummings||Ms Rachel King||2L||9||52kg||$26|
|7||13||ROCK||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tommy Berry||2.3L||12||52.5kg||1.5kg||$6|
|8||6||BRANDENBURG (NZ)||John Sargent||Jason Collett||2.4L||3||54kg||$21|
|9||9||WILD PLANET||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tim Clark||2.6L||6||53kg||$17|
|10||2||MISTER SEA WOLF (IRE)||Chris Waller||Brenton Avdulla||3.1L||4||56kg||$26|
|11||3||STAR OF THE SEAS (NZ)||Chris Waller||Nash Rawiller||3.2L||1||55.5kg||$5F|
|12||4||IMAGING (GB)||Chris Waller||James McDonald||3.4L||17||55.5kg||$15|
|13||19||GLENALL||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Brock Ryan (a)||4.2L||5||50kg||$101|
|14||20||VANNA GIRL||Toby & Trent Edmonds||Robbie Dolan||5.8L||14||50kg||$12|
|15||8||THE CANDY MAN||Peter & Paul Snowden||Regan Bayliss||6.6L||8||53.5kg||$31|
|16||10||NICCANOVA||Craig Carmody||Blaike McDougall||7.4L||10||53kg||$41|
|17||5||NETTOYER||Wendy Roche||James Innes Jnr||8.4L||13||54kg||$61|
|21e||JUST THINKIN’||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||0|
|1||KOLDING (NZ)||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||0|
|15||RELOADED||Chris Waller||Ms Kathy O’Hara||0|
|18||SAVACOOL (NZ)||Chris Waller||Ms Alysha Collett||0|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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