The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
Trainer Matthew Smith has confirmed Saturday week’s Group 1 $1.5 million Epsom Handicap (1600m) will be considered for his class mare Nimalee following her brave 2022 Golden Pendant victory at Rosehill Gardens.2022 Golden Pendant Winner Nimalee
The six-year-old daughter of So You Think had to carry the full 58kg in the Group 2 $400,000 Golden Pendant (1400m) and was excellent third-up and fit showing her Group 1 class.
“Gee she was tough today. She has taken a couple of runs to get her fit this time in and I had to put a couple of extra trials into her as well, so it’s good to see her today tough it out at the finish,” Smith told Sky Thoroughbred Central post-win.
“She didn’t have any favours and she was strong late. Super effort. She’s a beauty. I wouldn’t mind a few more like her.”
Nimalee won the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes over the Randwick mile in the mud back in April, and she could get the chance to secure another elite level win at the same track and distance in the 2022 Epsom Handicap.
Ridden to victory in the Golden Pendant by Regan Bayliss, Nimalee improved on her lead-up third behind Zaaki in the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) last time out.
That bodes well for the winner in that with Zaaki set to race on Sunday defending his Group 1 $1 million Underwood Stakes (1800m) title at Sandown.
Bayliss had Nimalee settled up on the speed after crossing from her wide gate in the Pendant as Expat lead them around looking to go all-the-way.
Nimalee moved up on the straight to take over, and was good holding on by a half-head when bobbing her nose down right on the line.
She narrowly denied the fast-finishing Chris Munce-trained Group 1 Tatt’s Tiara place-getter Palaisipan, a fellow daughter of So You Think, in a photo.
In third rounding out the Golden Pendant trifecta was the Jason Coyle-trained Pippali who jumped from the inside alley.
Smith will now see how his Golden Pendant winner pulls up after the race, but believes she is more than capable of handing the quick back-up into the Epsom Handicap field Saturday week.
“It is (on the cards) for sure,” he said of a potential Epsom run.
“We will have a think about it and see how she pulls up but it’s definitely on the cards.
“I don’t know if we have backed her up before but she’s a big, strong mare, she is a good eater and she helps herself anyway so if she comes through the race OK, we’d definitely have a serious think about it.”
Bayliss, who rode last year’s Epsom Handicap winner Private Eye to victory, is hoping to retain the ride should the mare back-up
“Hopefully she pulls up well and she’s a mighty good chance in the Epsom next week,” he said.
Probabeel (2020) was the last Epsom Handicap winning mare.
The latest all-in Epsom Handicap odds at Ladbrokes.com.au on Nimalee to be the next look generous at $21.
Click here for the full pre-field Epsom Handicap betting markets.
2022 Golden Pendant Results & Finishing Order
|1||1||NIMALEE||Matthew Smith||Regan Bayliss||15||58kg||$8.50|
|2||6||PALAISIPAN||Chris Munce||Damian Lane||0.06L||16||56kg||$10|
|3||12||PIPPALI||Jason Coyle||Kerrin McEvoy||0.62L||1||54kg||$81|
|4||8||ESPIONA||Chris Waller||James McDonald||1.47L||14||55kg||$4F|
|5||4||ELECTRIC GIRL||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Chad Schofield||1.51L||7||56kg||$11|
|6||13||KATALIN||James Cummings||Tim Clark||1.59L||9||54kg||$7.50|
|7||5||EXPAT (NZ)||Mark Newnham||Tom Sherry||1.87L||2||56kg||$17|
|8||3||JAMAEA||Robert & Luke Price||Tommy Berry||1.92L||5||56.5kg||$13|
|9||7||MIRRA VISION||Peter & Paul Snowden||Sam Clipperton||2.06L||10||55kg||$21|
|10||14||DYNASTIES||Peter & Paul Snowden||Blake Shinn||2.97L||3||54kg (cd 55kg)||$26|
|11||2||STARTANTES||Robert Heathcote||Jason Collett||3.84L||8||58kg||$8.50|
|12||11||MEG||Matthew Dale||Tyler Schiller (a)||3.92L||13||54kg||$26|
|13||10||MY WHISPER||Peter & Paul Snowden||William Pike||4.24L||6||55kg||$21|
|14||17||DALCHINI||Lee & Cherie Curtis||Jay Ford||4.31L||4||54kg||$41|
|15||15||GIN MARTINI (NZ)||John Sargent||Brenton Avdulla||5.56L||12||54kg (cd 54.5kg)||$101|
|16||16||RIDUNA||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Ms Rachel King||6.93L||11||54kg||$26|
|9||TYCOON EVIE||Peter & Paul Snowden||0|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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