Speedy filly Grace’s Secret made it two wins from two starts when she led throughout to take out the Listed Riccarton Park Function Centre Welcome Stakes (1000m) at Riccarton on Saturday.
The Shane Kennedy and Anna Furlong-trained daughter of Vadamos had performed in similar fashion when winning at the venue on debut over 800m, however rain on race morning left some punters in doubt over her ability to handle the tricky Slow7 conditions as she drifted from an opening quote of $1.30 to start at a luxurious $1.60 for the only race winner in the field.
Facing just the four rivals, rider Terry Moseley took her straight to the front and gave nothing a chance as he dictated proceedings in the centre of the track before easing the filly clear in the final stages to win by four lengths from Clark Kent, who chased her throughout.
Despite looking an outstanding winning prospect on paper, Furlong admitted she had plenty of nerves leading into the race.
“The stress just about killed me,” she said.
“She didn’t look super comfortable on that track and being off the rail she was a little bit lost, but it was quite smart (in the end).
“We didn’t know about the track as she had only run on the Polytrack and then on a firm surface last time, so we were hoping she would just skip over it.
“She took natural improvement from her first run and we were as confident as you can be heading into a two-year-old race.”
Furlong indicated Grace’s Secret could be heading to another stakes assignment with the Gr.2 Wakefield Challenge Stakes (1100m) at Trentham on December 4 a possible target.
“We have discussed Wellington, although we will wait and see how she comes through this,” she said.
Bred and raced by South Island couple Dennis and Sally Mullally under their Clayview Farm Partnership banner, Grace’s Secret is out of unraced Pentire mare Fermentation and is from an extended family that includes Western Australian Group Three winner Kincaple and the former outstanding South Island sprinter Kincaple Lad.
The Mullally’s had purchased Fermentation in foal to Vadamos from the Pencarrow Stud draft for $7,000 at the National Broodmare Sale at Karaka in 2019, with Grace’s Secret the resulting offspring.
Grace’s Secret is from the second crop of Rich Hill Stud-based stallion Vadamos and becomes his second stakes winner.
Vadamos will be represented by two individuals at the New Zealand Bloodstock Ready To Run Sale of two-year-olds that will take place virtually at Te Rapa Racecourse on 17 and 18 November, commencing at 1PM (NZT) each day. – NZ Racing Desk