Despite a few moments of concern when placed in tight quarters at the top of the Trentham home straight, rugged filly Impendabelle (Impending x Applegate) maintained her unbeaten record with a dogged performance to win the Gr.2 Mode Technology Wakefield Challenge Stakes (1100m).
The Tony Pike-trained filly had been an impressive first up winner at the venue back in October and went in to her first black type challenge on Saturday as a warm $2 favourite.
Her backers had plenty of reasons to worry however, as after beginning well, she drifted towards the rear of the eight-horse field, with rider Michael McNab searching for daylight entering the home straight as he found himself caught in traffic at a vital stage of the contest.
Angled into a tight gap, the daughter of Impending showed her mental toughness as she burst between runners to hit the front at the 200m before drawing away from runner-up Believe In Magic in the closing stages.
McNab admitted he wasn’t overly worried with the spot he found himself in when the pressure went into the race as he had faith in his mount’s ability to find her way through the pack.
“I got away clean enough but then they went quite quick so I thought I’d get some cover,” he said.
“I ended up back but I was happy with the horse I was following who I knew would take me far enough into the race.
“The best thing about it was she burst through the tight run and when she balanced, she really sprinted and put them away.
“It may have even been too easy as she was all over the show, but only handy horses can do that as she was super.”
McNab’s father Chris was representing the Pike stable at the meeting and shared his son’s feelings on the way the race unfolded.
“It was a bit surprising she got crossed at the start, but we were on the back of the right horse and she is a good, tough filly,” McNab said.
“They don’t come too much better than this one.
“She wasn’t going to win by much at the 200m, but the closer they got to the line the further she got in front.”
The victory takes Impendabelle to the top of the qualifying table for the $1 million Doubletree by Hilton Karaka Million (1200m) which will be run at Pukekohe on January 21.
Bred by the Smithies family under their Monovale Holdings banner, Impendabelle was an $80,000 purchase out of the Hallmark Stud draft during the Book 1 session at the New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale at Karaka back in March.
A half-sister by So You Think will be offered as Lot 26 during the Book 1 sale at Karaka commencing on January 29 next month. – NZ Racing Desk