The money continues to roll in for Annabel...
A late decision to roll the dice and run last Saturday’s Guy Walter Stakes winner Forbidden Love in the Group 1 $500,000 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) has paid off for Richard & Michael Freedman with the mare leading all-the-way in a dominant performance on another Heavy Randwick track.
The four-year-old daughter of All Too Hard relished a Heavy (10) last weekend to salute by over three lengths in the Group 2 Guy Walter Stakes (1400m) and it was a similarly easy watch for connections as she stepped-up in grade for the 2022 Canterbury Stakes on the quick back-up.
With Hugh Bowman aboard again, Forbidden Love led from barrier to box to post her second career Group 1 following on from last year’s Surround Stakes.
A flawless wet track performer and genuine Randwick specialist, she was far too good for her rivals saluting by nearly two lengths as the short-priced favourite at $2.20.
“She just pulled up so well from last week. I thought, we could wait for the Coolmore (Classic) and draw (barrier) 15 and give weight to good fillies coming out of the Surround (Stakes), so I thought, we may as well roll the dice,” co-trainer Michael Freedman told Sky Thoroughbred Central post-win.
“Nothing is a certainty in this game, as we all know, but I just thought with the conditions as they were going to potentially play out and how well she pulled up after the Guy Walter last week, we are probably never going to get a better chance at a Group 1 than this and it panned out well.
“She has been a terrific mare and there is still a bit to go.”
She was best out the gates and quick to take up the lead from Dice Roll, while Kolding parked third the fence and the American mare Lighthouse looked well-positioned by her hoop James McDonald in fourth.
With Laws Of Indices missing the kick, it was Forbidden Love’s race to loose and Bowman was able to control things from the front.
Well before the turn McDonald pulled out on Lighthouse for the Maher/Eustace stable, while the backmarkers were starting to come once they moved onto the home straight.
Having been second last with 600m to go, Private Eye was coming with a good run down the outside late.
Bowman though just had to cuddle Forbidden Love over the final furlong and the others all ran out of time, the top elect easily accounting for Lighthouse by two lengths.
“I was very comfortable from an early part of that race. She is so good into stride and she obviously won with authority on rain affected ground last week,” the winning hoop said.
“I just grew in confidence when I took her to the barriers. She was a bit more settled today despite the fact she sweated up a lot, she was a bit more relaxed.
“Conditions are tough, I know the track’s been upgraded (to a Heavy 9) but conditions are tough and she just loves that wet ground and we’re seeing the best of her now.”
Completing the Canterbury Stakes trifecta a distant third first-up was Joe Pride’s Epsom Handicap winner Private Eye with improvement to come from him.
For Bowman it was officially his second time celebrating his 100 Group 1 wins after an earlier disqualification stripped him of his century, which he retained in the Canterbury today.
“Obviously when Montefilia won there was nobody here so it is great to have the fans back,” he said.
“It has been a wonderful journey for me, I’ve ridden some wonderful horses and I’m grateful to have my wonderful wife Christine by my side here today.”
The mares have now won seven of the past 13 editions of the race.
Looking ahead, Freedman named the Group 1 $1 million George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on March 19 as a nice next-up option for Forbidden Love, but he also isn’t ruling out another short turnaround to run in next weekend’s Group $600,000 Coolmore Classic (1500m).
“We will wait and see how she pulls up, whether she looks to become a broodmare later this year or whether we continue on, we will wait and see,” he said.
“Everything and anything is on the table. Let the dust settle, have a chat to all the crew and see which way we go.
“The (George) Ryder in a couple of weeks mightn’t be out of the question, especially if we keep getting some of these wet tracks.
“I’m not ruling it out (a Coolmore Classic back-up).”
2022 Canterbury Stakes Results & Finishing Order
|1||9||FORBIDDEN LOVE||Richard & Michael Freedman||Hugh Bowman||7||57kg||$2.20F|
|2||10||LIGHTHOUSE (USA)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||James McDonald||1.75L||2||57kg||$5|
|3||3||PRIVATE EYE||Joseph Pride||Regan Bayliss||4.16L||6||59kg||$8|
|4||2||KOLDING (NZ)||Chris Waller||Jason Collett||5.9L||1||59kg||$41|
|5||5||SPECIAL REWARD||Kris Lees||Glyn Schofield||6.16L||3||59kg||$17|
|6||4||DALASAN||Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas||Chad Schofield||6.44L||5||59kg||$26|
|7||8||LAWS OF INDICES (IRE)||Annabel Neasham||Tommy Berry||7.06L||4||58.5kg||$6.50|
|8||6||WILD PLANET||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||William Pike||7.93L||9||59kg||$26|
|9||7||DICE ROLL (FR)||Nick Ryan||Rhys McLeod||13.55L||8||59kg||$20|
|1||ZAAKI (GB)||Annabel Neasham||James McDonald||0|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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