Amarela is deep into her Autumn campaign now, but as last Spring showed, she has the constitution to hold her form or even improve it with racing. She delighted her owners, Nigel and all staff with a swooping victory at Flemington on Saturday (Neville Begg Handicap, 1800m, 21 May).
In some previous runs, Amarela has shown a disliking to being ridden without cover or too close to the lead, tending to either over race or at best, over exerting herself in the run and fading in the concluding stages of the race.
Drawing barrier 14 in the 15 horse field, Darren Gauci was presented a challenge that he accepted and overcame. He allowed her to jump “neutral” from the wide barrier and let her coast for a 100m or so before deciding where to slot her in the field. Settling towards the rear, but on the outside of runners and with some cover, Darren had her relaxed and comfortable. As a result, she was able to extend nicely in the straight to run down the field in the final 50m of the race.
It was a thrill to have Darren ride a winner for the stable again. Nigel purposefully wanted a senior rider with experience to ride Amarela, not only because of her preferred race pattern, but also because of the barrier. Darren’s former association with Neville Begg added further joy.
Congratulations to her owners. This win is Amarela’s fourth victory in her career from 18 starts (which includes five placings). Her prizeoney is almost $150k, with the likelihood of a lot more to come from the four year old mare.
By one of our more favoured New Zealand sires, Rich Hill Stud’s Pentire, she was bred by great supporters Soliloqoy Lodge and purchased form the draft of Haunui Stud at the 2013 NZ Bloodstock Premier Sale.
Amarela will now head to Flemington on Saturday 11 June for a Benchmark 90 race over the same distance (1800m).