A battler’s opportunity to take on royalty is one of Australian racing’s greatest assets.
Timothy Grace has three horses in training at Benalla but will send Rich Widow up against opposition owned by billionaire sheikhs in Saturday’s Friends Of Epworth Handicap (1000m) at Moonee Valley.
Grace paid $1000 for Rich Widow at a yearling sale last year but did not have another $1100 to nominate the filly for the VOBIS Gold scheme.
She will recoup almost all her purchase price if she beats one runner home on debut with the race offering $960 in prize money to the 10th finisher.
But Rich Widow’s barrier trial effort at Wangaratta has convinced Grace she could repay his investment many times over.
Rich Widow finished second in the trial but Grace said the late application of blinkers and back soreness hampered the two-year-old.
“She was totally lost with the blinkers on and she tried to do a U-turn,” Grace said.
“It took her 70 metres to realise what she was meant to do then she laid down in the straight.
“To do what she did in pain, it was unbelievable.”
Grace said Rich Widow had flourished since receiving chiropractic treatment on the night of her trial.
The trainer has booked Chris Symons to partner Rich Widow at Moonee Valley but Grace says he bought the horse for his jockey sons to ride when available.
Grace, the father of Sydney-based apprentice Lester and Tasmanian rider Kodie Grace, said Symons’ recent wins on other Danerich progeny won him the mount on Rich Widow.
“Chris has won on Kaiser Sun recently and knows the breed well,” Grace said.
“Lester would have ridden him on Saturday but he got suspended during the week.”