SUNDAY: September 25, 2022: BRAD Widdup was prepared to give winless Sky Ace “another go” – and his breeder-owner John Cordina was convinced he should do so.
It has worked out well, with the son of Sooboog making it two wins from three starts this preparation when he shouldered 60kg to an easy victory at the Bathurst Showcase meeting today.
Sky Ace hadn’t won in nine starts, although he had been placed four times, when he finished his previous campaign.
“I was prepared to give him another go after a spell, and John said he knew the gelding’s family well and felt Sky Ace would improve as he got older,” Brad said this evening.
“He has come back a totally different horse.
“He was taken on at Bathurst today and still won convincingly, whereas previously he would have been beaten.”
Sky Ace shed his maiden status in impressive fashion when resuming over 1400m at Nowra on August 21 and then made the running when a gallant second to Speedy Song in a Benchmark 64 Handicap (1800m) at Hawkesbury on September 8.
Alysha Collett had the mount today and made the running on the gelding in the Tulloch Cup Class 1 Handicap (1800m).
Though taken on and momentarily headed by Tornac ($8.50), who had 5kg less, in the back straight, Sky Ace proved a grade above his rivals.
He cleared out in the last 200m to score by four and a half lengths from Mangoola ($6), with Tornac holding third placing.
Sky Ace’s dam, the High Chaparral mare Monaco Doll, took 15 starts before breaking through in a 1750m Maiden Handicap at Muswellbrook in 2013.
She won another four races, including a Saturday 2220m Benchmark 85 Handicap at Doomben in 2015, and was placed in the Listed Queensland Cup (3200m) at the Sunshine Coast that year.
Sky Ace is Monaco Doll’s second foal.
. Meanwhile, Brad is looking forward to his stable star Icebath chasing a Group 1 breakthrough in Saturday’s $1.5m Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick.
“I’m really happy with her,” he said. “She will have her final gallop at Hawkesbury on Tuesday morning.”
Sydney’s premier jockey James McDonald will have his first ride on Icebath, and has been given permission by RacingNSW stewards to ride her 1kg over at 54.5kg.
However, he may have to declare only 0.5kg over as Epsom weights are likely to be lifted by that amount when the final field is declared on Tuesday morning, with Top Ranked the probable 56kg topweight.