Woman rewards patience with Canterbury win on debut

Patience has been the key for the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained Woman as they waited to debut the impeccably bred three-year-old Frankel filly and she rewarded that with a stylish win in the $40,000, TAB Rewards Handicap (1250m) for maiden fillies at Canterbury on Wednesday.

The market watchers had taken notice and Woman was backed from $2.50 into $2.15 by Wednesday morning and she started at $1.65 on fixed odds and $1.70 on the tote. They too were rewarded.

John Singleton, principal of Strawberry Hills Stud, had sent his multiple Group winning mare More Joyous, by More Than Ready, on the journey to the UK for a Southern Hemisphere time service to the mighty racehorse Frankel. That too required patience and not inconsiderable expense.

The stable had trialled Woman four times, the first back in January and the last over 1030m at Rosehill on September 4th.

Eventually all concerned were able to watch as Kerrin McEvoy expertly handled the chestnut with a distinctive white blaze in her first raceday experience and after some winding into her gears the filly in the end won with ease with a 2L margin.

McEvoy settled in fifth and from the 600m he asked Woman to close on the leaders. Three wide off the turn for the short run home Woman was up outside Godolphin’s first starter Laussel from the 300m. By the 200m she was leading and racing in the middle of the track she lengthened well over the final 100 for McEvoy to go away well for the win.

Laussel (Animal Kingdom) under Blake Shinn was second with Union Dues (NZ) (Fastnet Rock) and Brenton Avdulla coming through late for third, the margin 1 1/4L.

The time was 1.14.36 on the Good 3 track with the final 600m in 34.77.

“It was so pleasing to see her do that particularly for the team and for Singo. They have had a long range plan for mating initially, and then getting her into the stables, so delighted to be able to pull it off,” said co-trainer Adrian Bott.

“She was the ultimate professional and I think we saw that she has so much scope to go on with improvement there.

“It probably took a little while to build into it and I think she will get over a lot further in time. She is bred to do that and she had to get going a little bit early, but once she balanced the best part of the race was on the line where she was going away from them,” said Bott.

Bott said that the plan was to come through Woman’s race debut and then give the filly a light campaign over the spring.

“We are mindful of what we want to achieve in the autumn, so we will do the right thing by her and if might mean we put her away now for a spell and come back in the autumn, but if she comes through the race well there might be another race for her,” he said.

“She travelled nicely and this is definitely going to be short of her best distance but she was there to run well today. She had a nice trail and I got her up and mobile before that last bit of the corner and she did it nicely. That last 200m was quite assertive,” said McEvoy.

Woman’s dam More Joyous, out of Sunday Joy by Sunday Silence, was an exceptional home-bred racehorse trained by Waterhouse for Singleton.

Over a career spanning 33 starts she won 21 times including seven at Group 1 level with the 2012 Queen Elizabeth Stakes over 2000m at Randwick her maximum distance. That race was worth $500,000 at that time, now $4 million, but she still won stakes of $4.572 million for Singleton.

More Joyous opened her account in Saturday class over 1100m at Rosehill on January 17th, 2009. Woman’s more modest start mid-week earned $21,970, but much more is obviously planned for the filly over this season.

TAB Rewards Handicap, photo finish picture ATC