TUESDAY: June 30, 2020: RAPID improver Vulpine is eating her way to success.
The Snitzel filly made it two wins from three starts this preparation when she led throughout in the Class 1 Handicap (1000m) at Gosford today.
A well-backed $2.70 favorite, Vulpine (Shaun Guymer) was dominant in defeating Absolutely Foxy ($3.80) and Fifteen Rounds ($13).
A $340,000 yearling purchase at the 2018 Magic Millions sales (sadly her dam Elusive Leone died only two months beforehand), Vulpine had been unsuccessful at her first five starts, though she was runner-up twice at Newcastle and Wyong last December.
And she ran a nice race in the $250,000 Magic Millions Maiden at the Gold Coast in January before her trainer gave her a break.
“Vulpine is more settled this time in work,” Widdup said this evening.
“She isn’t a big filly, but is a really good eater and is a pleasure to train.
“Vulpine is sound and very willing. We will look after her and there’s no reason why she can’t race on successfully for at least another season.”
Vulpine broke her maiden status first-up at Kembla Grange over 1000m on May 30 before stepping up in class and finishing fifth to Spaceboy in a Class 2 Handicap (1100m) at Wyong on June 18.
“I was really pleased with her run that day,” Widdup said. “She made ground on a day where horses were finding it hard to do so.
“Coming back to a Class 1 today, I was confident she would be hard to beat.”
Widdup clinched his 38th winner of the season, and nearly clinched a Gosford double when Carte Blanche ($6) was just edged out by Exceltic ($2.70) in the Class 2 Handicap (1200m).
She was first-up since scoring at Wyong in early April and went into today’s race on the back of one trial (when third to Plague Stone over 800m at Hawkesbury on June 15).
‘Carte Blanche raced right up on the pace, closer than we had planned, but Mitchell Bell had no option as there wasn’t enough speed in the race,” Widdup said.
“She was gallant in defeat and hopefully we can win another race with her in the coming weeks.”
. Widdup has confirmed Bell as the rider for last Saturday’s Rosehill Gardens runner-up Sandbar in next Wednesday’s $200,000 Listed Ramornie Handicap (1200m) at Grafton.
He is hoping it will be a successful return to one of Australia’s most famous country carnivals as he took the 2011 Ramornie winner Jerezana there when working for Darley (now Godolphin) before branching out on his own as a trainer just over three years ago.
Widdup will saddle topweight Switched in the 3YO Benchmark 70 Handicap (1100m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday, keen to get her a city breakthrough after five consecutive placings in town.
He will trial 13 horses at the 16-heat Wyong session tomorrow, intent on giving himself every chance to at least equal or surpass last season’s tally of 41 winners.