Ideal Miss continues to improve with age and experience. She has now added ‘versatility’ to her CV after winning over 2600m at Cranbourne on Friday. Her third win for the preparation and her career, and arguably her best.
Two starts previous to her win at Cranbourne, Ideal Miss won well over 2100m at Ballarat. This followed a creditable performance at BM70 level over 2200m three weeks earlier. She was starting to prove Nigel’s long-held belief since she first started galloping, that she would ‘get over ground’.
However, those performances were both on synthetic surfaces. This time at Cranbourne she was back on the grass for the first time since April and up to 2630m (the race distance was increased at the time of acceptances).
Nigel and Susanna kept discussing this mare’s profile. If they hadn’t already done so, they tore up the mare’s pedigree page and trusted their gut feel that she would appreciate the distance – perhaps more so Susanna who gave Nigel a bit of encouragement! They were supported by data, however, having started using Arioneo’s Equimetre horse performance solution in recent months.
As soon as the field jumped in the Ladbrokes Mates Mode BM58 handicap, the modest early tempo allowed Ideal Miss to easily hold a positive position in the running – fourth, one off the fence. Alana Kelly’s balance and deft touch allowed Ideal Miss to travel comfortably.
When the pace quickened around the 700m mark, Alana placed Ideal Miss in the perfect position stalking the even-money favourite, Mr Blackwood. Within a few strides, Ideal Miss simply rounded up the leader and the favourite and hit the front 400 meters from home. As Alana said in her post-race interview, Ideal Miss probably hit the lead too soon and will be better following another horse, but that underscores the dominance of her victory in this grade.
When Ideal Miss was purchased as a yearling, even Nigel admits he didn’t think we was buying a staying filly. She wasn’t bred to stay, being by Scissor Kick (a speed son of Redoute’s Choice) out of a sprinting mare (by Dehere) and from a family that seemed to have been producing only sprinters in recent times.
Deeper in her pedigree appears the AJC Derby winner Headturner, but other stakes-winners like O’MARILYN, KRONER, ANACHEEVA and EIRE HOSTESS were all sprinters or sprinter-milers. So it proves how important it is to train each horse and an individual, learn from experience, interpret data and sometimes just go with gut feel.
Congratulations to the owners of Ideal Miss. Her versatility now provides many options for the remainder of this preparation and the next.