A double at ‘home’

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The stable maintained our strong strike rate on the Sportsbet-Ballarat Synthetic surface with two more wins on Thursday 10 June. Both Kirakat and Under My Spell performed well in the wintery conditions to please their owners, and please a bruised and battered trainer.

It’s an understatement to say the stable is not well-known for two-year-old racing success. But it’s false to say some trainers can train two-year-olds and some can’t. Selection techniques and budget play a much bigger role in two-year-old racing success – which can deliver a mighty reward. Training techniques certainly play a role too, but the equine athlete has to be able to withstand the pressures of juvenile racing.

With that in mind (and accepting that it is late in the two-year-old season), we were thrilled to score a winner with our two-year-old filly KIRAKAT at Ballarat.

Kirakat ran second in a trial in NZ in the early two-year-old trials when owned & trained by Clinton Isdale and Gemma Hewtson. A syndicate of owners led by Ian Lewis initially leased her to race in Australia. After her promising placing at Geelong at her second race start, the ownership group negotiated to buy her outright.

She has displayed some toughness this preparation, no doubt aided by the fantastic ground-work laid by Clinton and Gemma in NZ. Yet Kirakat has plenty more development to come.

She now enjoys a well-earned break before returning to hopefully give her owners much success next preparation.

UNDER MY SPELL is a mare who possesses enough talent to be winning a metropolitan level. She has already placed twice in Melbourne (Caulfield and Sandown) and she has competed in two stakes-races.

However, after her inglorious run in the Listed Centaurea Stakes at Morphettville in mid-May, Nigel brought her home to work harder on confidence. Twice now she has travelled to Adelaide for stakes-class racing and twice she has not performed due to immaturity and possessing a stubborn mind of her own!

Down in grade substantially and back in distance to 1500m, Under My Spell was entered for the Class 1 event at Ballarat. Well-supported in betting, the result was never in doubt. The daughter of Pierro won comfortably with a clam ride by Michael Dee.

We thank Brendan and Jo Lindsay and the racing team of Cambridge Stud for the opportunity to guide the career of their valuable mare. Patience will be rewarded in time, we are sure.