By how far ? was the question every racegoer was asking themselves at the Nowra Race Club’s Archer Racecourse on Sunday 30th April 2017.
The reason for their asking ? … SO BLESSED, a three-year-old bay filly by Benfica, a Group 1 winning son of Lonhro out of the Kings Best (USA) unraced mare in Goliard, has just displayed a turn of foot that had to be seen to be believed.
Having her sixth race start, the second of this preparation after a six month rest and recuperation break, SO BLESSED broke her maiden status in fine style. Her race was the fourth of the day, a 1200 metres 3yo Maiden Plate, sponsored by Murphy Family Funerals.
The betting market indicated that SO BLESSED would run well after her first up run at Kembla Grange eight days earlier and the fact that she had been working nicely at home. After opening at the price of $3.40, she remained firm in the market and finished up starting the $3.30 favourite.
Kathy O’Hara had been declared the jockey, the filly’s allocated weight was 55kgs and SO BLESSED had drawn one barrier from the outside that being barrier ten. The track condition had improved with the better weather over the past couple of days and was now rated soft on raceday morning.
SO BLESSED “sprung the lids” as was urged along to take up a forward position. However another runner in King Of Saigon was kicking up along the inside, this meant that Kathy had to keep her mount a little wider whilst still going forward.
By the time they had travelled two hundred metres the rider was able to have her horse getting along at a good clip in front, on the rails. On reaching the 800 metres mark the pace was solid, the field was spread out over approximately twelve lengths.
SO BLESSED was high-balling along in the lead, 600 metres from home, the margin was two lengths to King Of Saigon, that margin remained until they entered the home straight.
Once balanced, after negotiating the home turn, Kathy decided to “push the button”, given a bit more reign and hands and heels riding the duo bounded away. The margin to the second horse was increasing with every stride … two, three, four then five lengths as SO BLESSED flashed past the 200 metres pole.
The filly appeared to shy away a little from an infield sign about fifty metres out but the jockey kept her rhythm, sat up with thirty metres to go and coasted to the line.
The winning margin … five and a half lengths, SO BLESSED stopped the clock at 1:10.74 and the 600 metres sectional time was a tidy 34.61 seconds, the equal fastest of the day.
A big thanks to Kathy O’Hara for the ride and “hanging on” and a sincere thank you must also go to all of the staff at Singleton Racing.
Heartiest Congratulations to owner, breeder and valued client, Fay Godfrey. We feel you are indeed blessed to have such a lovely filly and are absolutely thrilled with the win of SO BLESSED and going forward we’re sure there’s more in store.