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Cox Plate-bound Probabeel heads bumper Richards double

Outstanding mare Probabeel landed her fourth Group One win when showing all her tenacity to narrowly prevail in the Gr.1 Might And Power (2000m) at Caulfield. 

The Jamie Richards-trained five-year-old rallied under Brett Prebble as the pair were forced to make their run closer to the fence to deny Nonconformist by a nose, with hot-favourite Zaaki a well-held 1.85 lengths away in third.

The daughter of Savabeel relished the Good 3 conditions, recording a slick 2:01.51 for the 2000m journey and connections will be hoping for a similar firm deck as they eye another shot at the Gr.1 Cox Plate (2040m) in a fortnight. 

Raced by Brendan and Jo Lindsay of Cambridge Stud, Probabeel has had no luck in two grand finals at The Valley, with wet tracks thwarting her in last year’s Cox Plate and again in the A$5 million All Star Mile (1600m).

Probabeel’s win followed that of stablemate Kahma Lass earlier on the Caulfield program, with last season’s Gr.1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) winner proving too strong in the Listed Weekend Hussler (1400m). 

For Richards, who watched both mares win with pride from his Matamata base due to COVID restrictions, it was a case of a job well done by all involved. 

“It was absolutely awesome,” Richards said. 

“A lot of work and preparation goes into that sort of day. Those horses have been in work since May or June and there has been a lot of work and a lot of sacrifice, particularly from Ashley Handley (travelling foreman), who has done such a wonderful job with them.”

Richards was proud of star mare Probabeel as she dug deep and had less room to move than ideal from barrier 1.  

“She is a big striding mare that doesn’t really appreciate being down on the inside like that but she has got the job done, even though it was by the barest of margins,” Richards said.

“It was all guts and I’m really proud of her.”

The Matamata horseman is thrilled to link with in-form hoop Brett Prebble, who also rode Kahma Lass to success, and paid homage to Cambridge Stud chief executive Henry Plumptre for gaining a long-term commitment from the rider who has already notched five Group One wins this spring. 

“Brett is riding the crest of a wave and riding with great confidence and getting the job done,” Richards said. 

The Cox Plate is now all but certain for the mare, unless rain comes, with the Gr.1 Empire Rose Stakes (1600m) a week later as a back-up. 

Kahma Lass, who also races in the Lindsay black and gold checks could potentially be aimed at the Gr.1 Cantala Stakes (1600m) having ticked the Australian black-type box.

“It was great to see her return to winning form,” Richards said. 

“We’d been happy with her. She ran really well first-up, but we just needed a bit of luck on our side, and it was good to get back down in the weights and ride her more conservatively. 

“I thought Brett gave her a lovely ride, was able to capitalise on a genuine tempo, got to the outside and really finished off well. It was a good strong win.

“She is a proper good mare on her day. There are a lot of options for her and I haven’t thought too much beyond today. 

“A race like the Cantala does come to mind, a handicap, down in the weights. Whether that race is a little bit rich for her, I’m not sure, but there are plenty of options for her.

“It is a big team effort and with the restrictions around COVID everyone has got to play their part. The whole staff and everyone included has done an incredible job and I can’t thank them enough.”

Both Probabeel and Kahma Lass are Karaka yearling graduates and were purchased by Te Akau supremo David Ellis.

Probabeel is the first and only foal of the stakes-placed Pins mare Far Fetched who died at the age of seven in 2017.

She was purchased for $380,000 from the draft of Waikato Stud, home to her super-sire Savabeel. The star mare has now won 12 races and in excess of $4 million in prizemoney and is one of the most valuable broodmare prospects in the Southern Hemisphere. 

Ellis went to $290,000 to secure Kahma Lass from the draft of Curraghmore, who presented the daughter of Darci Brahma on behalf of Greg Tomlinson’s Nearco Stud. 

Kahma Lass is one of four stakes winners from the Listed-placed Orientate mare Distinctive Lass. – NZ Racing Desk

Brett Prebble gets the best out of Probabeel as she wins the Gr.1 Might And Power (2000m) at Caulfield Photo Credit: Bruno Cannatelli

Brett Prebble gets the best out of Probabeel as she wins the Gr.1 Might And Power (2000m) at Caulfield Photo Credit: Bruno Cannatelli
Kahma Lass swoops to victory in the Listed Weekend Hussler (1400m) Photo Credit: Bruno Cannatelli

Kahma Lass swoops to victory in the Listed Weekend Hussler  (1400m) Photo Credit: Bruno Cannatelli


 

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