It was a very satisfying result with Indrabeel winning the My Punter.com Maiden at Cranbourne on Friday night.
Patience has been required during Indrabeel’s early race career of ten race starts. She went close to winning on a number of occasions, placing second four times and third on one occasion. Even her fast closing fifth placing behind Royal Symphony as a late season two-year-old was pleasing (and she was arguably unlucky not to finish closer). But still the win eluded her.
She has always been a filly that needed a bit of time. Nigel has reported that she is not as precocious as her older stakes-winning sister YOU’RE SO GOOD raced by similar connections. The penny is taking time to drop. On a few occasions the race was there to win, but by stargazing or laying in or out she was beaten into second place.
But on Friday night at Cranbourne, we saw more improvement from this daughter of great stallion SAVABEEL. With the blinkers back on, she jumped well and raced keenly to position third on the fence behind the leader. This was the first pleasing aspect of her race, showing us that she is learning how to race and not getting “lost” back in the field.
Michael Dee got off the fence on the corner to ensure he was not held up behind the tiring leader. Once in the clear she lengthened stride and went to the line under hands and heels for a comfortable victory. Michael reported that she had more to give if she was pressured. It was only in the final 50m that the second horse got close to her, so this ensured Indrabeel had another good experience on the track.
It was a little frustrating to endure a protest from the second-placed horse. But clearly there was no cause for concern with stewards dismissing that protest quickly and allowing owners to return to their celebrations.
Nigel has held a good opinion of Indrabeel from the moment he inspected her at Waikato Stud in November 2016, two months ahead of the 2017 New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sales series. The work was done before the sale to engage clients and build a target list of horses. This Savabeel filly out of Lightning Spur was on that targeted list.
Long time clients of the stable, led by Managing Owner John Clark, executed the purchase off Waikato Stud at the sale.
Congratulations to John Clark, Diane Clark, Matt Ramunno, Gabby Ramunno, Geoff Corrigan, Peter Renwick, Sheamus Mills, John Spence, Joan Spence, Linda Pitcher and Richard Pitcher. We may see Indrabeel back at the races one more time this preparation, again over 2000m. But Nigel is adamant she will improve further with maturity next preparation and even next year.