WEDNESDAY: February 10, 2021: VULPINE has always shown ability. Now she is realising it.
The four-year-old daughter of Snitzel made it two city wins on the bounce when she led throughout at Warwick Farm today, providing her trainer Brad Widdup with his 15th victory of the season.
In the process, she has also presented Hawkesbury’s leading trainer with a problem – but a nice one at that.
“Vulpine deserves a crack at Saturday company in town, and that’s the next step,” Widdup said on his way home this evening.
“But the autumn carnival is on our doorstep, so the weekend races aren’t going to get any easier.
“At the same time, it’s hard to spell mares when they are in such good form as Vulpine is at present.
“I’ll have a look at the programs and decide whether to continue or give her a break.
“Whilst Vulpine isn’t big, she is a good doer. I wouldn’t mind even giving her a trip away if there was a suitable race interstate.”
Vulpine’s win today was her fourth – and she has also been placed on four occasions – from 16 starts, enhancing her broodmare value when she eventually retires from the racetrack.
Though her all-the-way victory wasn’t a surprise, her starting price of $16 certainly was.
She had won a 1200m Canterbury night assignment on February 10, and a weight rise of 4kg wasn’t enough to stop her.
Jockey Robbie Dolan rode her at Canterbury and took today’s Benchmark 72 Handicap (1100m) for mares four-year-old and upwards by the scruff of the neck, going straight to the front and never giving rivals a look-in.
Vulpine easily held off $3.30 second favorite Exotic Ruby, who had trailed her throughout.
Dolan has partnered Vulpine at four of her last five starts, and commented afterwards that she was now more relaxed.
Widdup agreed. “Vulpine has run a number of good races in the past, including a third to Killin and Tailleur (odds-on favorite for Saturday’s Group 3 Triscay Stakes at Royal Randwick) on the Kensington track last July,” he said.
“Racing has helped mature her, and we are seeing the results.”
Widdup purchased three yearlings – two colts and a filly – at the Inglis Classic sale this week, and was especially pleased to secure two of the progeny of Golden Slipper winner Capitalist (who sired last Saturday’s runaway $2m Inglis Millennium winner Profiteer).
“I have been keeping a close eye on his two-year-olds at trials and in races, and been impressed with what I have seen,” he said.
. Widdup’s classy mare Icebath begins her autumn campaign against Tailleur in the Group 3 Triscay (1200m) against her own sex at Randwick on Saturday, with apprentice Tom Sherry retaining the mount after partnering her in her close Golden Eagle second at Rosehill Gardens last October.
Kerrin McEvoy has been aboard Icebath in her two recent trials, but rides Tailleur and Icebath’s owners were happy to stick with the young Irishman for the weekend assignment.
“Icebath has had a good ground for her resumption, and any rain later in the week would certainly boost her chances,” Widdup said.
“But she will definitely take improvement from this run.”
Icebath has been set for the Group 1 $600,000 Coolmore Classic (1500m) for fillies and mares at Rosehill on March 13.