Trainer Patrick Payne has claimed his third successive $150,000, Listed Graham Family Funerals Tasmanian Derby (2200m) when Bold Soul (NZ) dug deep to prevail from Gold Wolf (NZ) at Hobart on Friday.
The son of Embellish was sent out a $1.45 favourite on the back of a stunning last-to-first victory in the Listed Launceston Guineas (2100m) and defeated a similar field in Friday’s Derby, with the exception of the runner-up.
Ridden by Jake Noonan, Bold Soul raced fifth on the fence for the majority of the contest before coming deepest to round up his opposition.
The son of Embellish looked likely to prevail with ease, but the David and Coral Feek-trained Gold Wolf rallied late, with the son of Tivaci getting within a short head, with a length and three-quarters back to Stardealt in third.
Payne was represented on-course by siblings Michelle and Stevie.
“He had to dig deep but he got there and that’s all that matters,” Michelle Payne said.
“It’s great for Patrick and all of his owners. We’re just thrilled and it was a really good ride from Jake Noonan here today.”
With a sedate tempo and smaller field, Bold Soul was at stages in an awkward position in shades of 12 months ago when the Payne-trained Dunkel took out the three-year-old feature.
“He probably doesn’t help himself with the way he missed the start a little bit today and he gets a bit keen mid-race but he switched off half-way through and was able to get to the outside and it was smooth sailing from there. It was nice to see him get over the line in front,” Payne said.
Jake Noonan, whose grandmother lives in Tasmania, was delighted to take out the Hobart feature on a progressive type.
“The key to him is trying to get the first half right,” Noonan said. “It is not about where you are positioned but what sort of rhythm you’re in. They probably stacked up a little bit quick coming down the hill and he did a really good job today because he was quite fierce for a good three furlongs there. That is hard to do over these sort of trips.
“He presented at the right time, looked to win and whether that early work just took its toll late or whether he had a think about it, I’m not sure. But his class rose the occasion and credit to the horse, he did a great job.”
Payne has now prepared The Nephew, Dunkel and Bold Soul to win the last three Tasmanian Derbys, with Dunkel going on to win the Gr.1 South Australian Derby (2500m) last year.
“He is in great hands with Patrick, Michelle and Stevie and he has been down with the Trinders, they have done a great job with him. He looks a picture and hasn’t lost a nick of condition which is hard to do with these three-year-olds,” Noonan said.
By Cambridge Stud’s Group One winning son of Savabeel, Embellish, Bold Soul is the last foal of the now retired Singspiel mare Twin Soul and was bred by Lou Te Keeti.
Bold Soul was sold at New Zealand Bloodstock’s Book 2 Yearling Sale for $20,000 to Wanganui horseman Hamish Auret and subsequently relocated to Payne’s Victorian operation.
Payne was in New Zealand recently, where he purchased six yearlings at Karaka across Books 1 and 2 at the New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale.