Waikato Stud homebred I Wish I Win (Savabeel – Make a Wish) confirmed his status as a rising star of Australian racing with a freakish off-the-canvas victory in Sunday’s Listed Tile Importer Testa Rossa Stakes (1300m) at Sandown.
A multiple Group One placegetter in New Zealand as a two and three-year-old for trainer Jamie Richards, the son of Savabeel was placed in the care of Peter Moody for his four-year-old campaign.
A brilliant four-length win on his Australian debut at Caulfield on August 27 earned $1.70 favouritism for I Wish I Win as he stepped up to black-type level against a highly talented field in Sunday’s A$175,000 sprint feature. He duly lived up to those expectations, but it was far from smooth sailing.
After dropping back to third-last in the early stages of the race, rider Luke Nolen found himself surrounded by horses and hopelessly blocked entering the home straight. It took until the 300m mark for Nolen to finally find clear air, at which point I Wish I Win went into overdrive and passed more than half a dozen horses to score an outstanding win.
“I knew I was on the best horse in the race, so I was confident,” Nolen said. “Patience is a virtue. We were nice and patient, and it paid off.
“He feels like an elite horse. We’ll have some fun with him, for sure.”
I Wish I Win has now had 11 starts for four wins, six placings and more than A$330,000 in stakes, with the prospect of even bigger and better things to come over the next few weeks.
Having failed to get a start off the ballot in last Saturday’s Gr.1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield, the Moody stable has now set its sights on the Gr.1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) at the same venue on October 8.
“That was a great win – he was really tough through the line, which was good to see,” stable representative Katherine Coleman said.
“When he was trying to get a run, I was just thinking about the phone call (with Moody) after the race. I wasn’t much looking forward to that, but I’d be very happy to give him a ring now.
“We’ll hopefully head towards the Toorak and hope that we find ourselves a bit higher in the ratings points now and don’t find ourselves with the same problem that we did last week.
“This win should boost him up a little bit, and I think if we can give him a crack at the Toorak, they’ll know he’s there.”
I Wish I Win was a two-time winner in New Zealand, scoring at Awapuni as a two-year-old and Trentham as a three-year-old. He also ran second in the Gr.1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m), Gr.3 Northland Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) and Listed El Roca-Sir Colin Meads Trophy (1200m), along with third placings in the Gr.1 Levin Classic (1600m) and Gr.3 Barneswood Farm Stakes (1400m).
He is out of the Pins mare Make A Wish, whose five winners from seven foals to race also include the well-performed Another Dollar. That daughter of Ocean Park won five races including the Gr.3 Premier’s Cup (2200m) and Listed Gosford Gold Cup (2000m), while her seven black-type placings included a second in the Gr.1 Queensland Oaks (2200m).
Fellow Kiwi-bred Ayrton was a close second in Sunday’s Testa Rossa with a big run under 58.5kg, while the injury-plagued Catalyst made an eye-catching run along the rail from last to finish fifth.
– NZ Racing Desk