Pecans has wrapped up her first campaign for trainer Joe Pride by exceeding expectations with victory in the Group Three Belle Of The Turf Stakes at Gosford.
An astute ride by dual Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Corey Brown throughout the 1600 metres and a poor start by $2.70 favourite Sedanzer contributed to Pecans capping her five-race preparation in style.
Emerging syndication company Tricolours bought the four-year-old mare from Godolphin earlier this year and she has developed into a smart buy.
“When we brought her for $50,000, if you said she’d win a Group Three I’d be pretty happy,” Pride said.
“She’s just a good honest mare.”
While Sedanzer was left behind when the field jumped, Brown positioned Pecans ($3.20) outside tempo-setter Positive Problems.
As Pecans hit the front, Sedanzer made ground under apprentice Rachel King but could not bridge the gap, going down by a half neck.
Positive Problems ($13) was 3-1/4 lengths third.
“She’s been racing like that all prep so it was a no-brainer what we had to do but it’s another thing to pull it off,” Pride said.
“Corey rode her really well to hold off a horse that’s very much in form at the moment.
“When Sedanzer started zooming down the outside I went into panic mode but she’s quite game my mare, and she found enough.”
Pride said Pecans, who backed up five days after running second at Warwick Farm, would now be freshened ahead of a return in the autumn.
“Whether or not she’s going to be able to replicate that in an autumn carnival, Group Three standard, I don’t know but she’s responded well to what my team has been able to do with her,” he said.
King told Racing NSW stewards Sedanzer was up against it after her tardy start and she had no choice but to try to round the field.
“Having top weight on her back I didn’t want to do what I had to do in the end, making a big run around them,” she said.
“I couldn’t get her to go at all early. She dropped the bit as soon as she jumped out the gates. They were two (lengths) ahead of me and I had to go to Plan B,” King said.
Trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott will now consider whether Sedanzer continues on to the Gold Coast’s Magic Millions carnival on January 13.