Talented three-year-old Bonham by Per Incanto-Fortune's Choice (Redoute's Choice) showed she is a filly of the highest quality when winning the Gr.1 Devan Plastics Levin Classic (1600m) at Trentham on Saturday.
Rated as the main danger to $1.80 favourite Brando, the Johno Benner and Hollie Wynyard-trained filly earned her victory the hard way as she sat three-wide for the majority of the race after starting from an outside barrier.
Taken forward by rider Lisa Allpress to challenge for the lead rounding the home bend, Bonham kicked clear early in the straight before holding out the late charge of Brando to capture her fourth win from just five starts for owner Gary Harding.
Benner admitted he had his concerns during the race, but trusted in the ability of both horse and rider to get the job done.
“She’s good and she had to be today,” he said.
“Lisa tried to ride her positively with cover, but she lost that and had to go forward at the 700m.
“She (Bonham) always seemed comfortable in herself and now you can call her a Group One winning filly, although that’s a feeling you never get used to.
“She does things that only Group One horses can do, and is a great walking filly with a beautiful action.
“Gary (Harding) has been great to us and this will mean a lot to him.
“We’re pinching ourselves with how well things are going at the moment. We have great staff at home, so I’m just the pretty face on days like today, well that’s what I tell myself anyway!”
Allpress also noted she had her own concerns when she found herself trapped out wide and fearing for what might be said by Benner and Wynyard if she didn’t do something about the situation.
“I wasn’t having a lot of luck three-deep and I could hear Johno and Hollie in my head,“ she said.
“I thought I need to trust my horse as she was fit and ready for today and a very fast mare, so I knew they would have trouble coming from behind her.
“I think I’ve lost my voice from screaming at her as she doesn’t need the whip, she just needs a push to get her over the line.
“Johno and Hollie are my biggest supporters, so I’m delighted to get the win for them.”
Bred by Little Avondale Stud, Bonham was purchased for $160,000 by Harding during the 2019 Karaka Book 1 Yearling sale.
Out of the Redoute’s Choice mare Fortune’s Choice, Bonham is the fourth individual Group One winner for her sire Per Incanto.
There was a sensation before the start with both Brando and the well-favoured Whimsical requiring a veterinary clearance to start after both became fractious in the starting gates.
Brando charged home from midfield to finish a neck away from Bonham in second, while Whimsical failed to beat a runner home. – NZ Racing Desk