The Gerald Ryan filly I Like It Easy won the $140,000, listed The Daily Telegraph Reginald Allen Quality (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday earning black type for her pedigree, but more importantly giving the Vieira family something to smile about as family matriarch Gai stays in a coma in hospital.
Gai Vieira was badly crashed into by a speeding NSW police highway patrol car recently and has been in a coma in hospital since. The latest reports are that Mrs Vieira is squeezing hands when family members talk to her and she is breathing unassisted. However, she has yet to come out of the coma.
Husband Bert Vieira, along with the family, has a significant investment in the bloodstock industry both breeding and owning may horses including valuable duel Group 1 winner Trapeze Artist who would race later in the Randwick programme in the $13m, The Everest (1200m).
I Like It Easy, by Pierro out of the General Nediym mare Gai’s Choice, is lightly raced and this was her first race since May when she was last over 1400m at Randwick, a race won by The Autumn Sun. The race before she won over 1200m and she was second on debut to Graff.
On Saturday Tim Clark took I Like It Easy to the lead from the outset and that is where she stayed. To her credit she staved off serious challenges from Evalina (I Am Invincible) and Jason Collett and Bubbles’N’Troubles (Hinchinbrook) and Damien Oliver over the final 100m with the final margins a half-neck and a short head.
The time was 1.26.10 on the Heavy 9 track with the final 600m in 36.70. I Like It Easy paid $11.00 on fixed odds and $13.10 on the tote.
“To have her win like that, it was not ‘I like it easy’, but we have one more to win,” said Vieira.
“I set her for that race about three weeks ago. He bred the filly and now she is a stakes winner,” said Ryan with emotion considering the family’s situation.
“It means a lot. Bert has been very patient with her. When she gets back she does not want to go so we worked it out she has to lead. Instead of races I gave her three trials so she was rock hard fit which was only way she was going to get through it.
“It is good for Bert to come down to see what is missing. He has come on the right day, this filly means a lot to him, she is out of Gai’s Choice and Gai chose the name,” he said.
I Like It Easy has now earned stakes of $138,845.
I Like It Easy and Tim Clark (red and gold) hold off Bubbles'N'Troubles and Damien Oliver (pink) and Evalina and Jason Collett (checks), picture Stevehart.com.au
Reginald Allen Quality, photo finish picture ATC