Smart four-year-old mare Gin Martini claimed a deserved Group Three victory when successful in the Epona Stakes (1900m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
The New Zealand-bred daughter of Rip Van Winkle travelled three-wide throughout under Damian Lane and after presenting widest at the top of the straight, pulled out too many stops to defy Thalassophile by a long neck, with Douceur three-quarters of a length away in third.
Prepared by John Sargent, Gin Martini is proven out to 3200m, having won the Listed Sandown Cup (3200m) last spring, while she was placed in the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) last season.
2023 Group 3 Epona Stakes Replay – Gin Martini
Sargent believes the mare has matured further this preparation.
“The trip to Melbourne for the Sandown Cup at Caulfield really brought her on a lot more. She is getting to her peak now,” he said.
“Three-wide in the open and I actually thought she’d be at her peak next start, but all dues to Damian (Lane). He knew what he was doing and she just keeps giving,”
Sargent will now likely target the Group 2 Chairman’s Quality (2600m) at Randwick on April 1.
“She is coming up really strong this time in,” Sargent said. “I’d say the Chairman’s looks a nice race over 2600m with no weight in a couple of weeks, especially if its wet.”
Expat Kiwi horseman Sargent is renowned for his affinity with fillies and mares and he has again worked the oracle with Gin Martini.
“You probably don’t have to train them as hard as the others, just keep them happy, pretty much like your wife,” he said.
Bred by Bree Baddiley And Sons Ltd, Gin Martini was purchased out of Dave Duley’s Landsdowne Park draft at the 2020 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 1 Yearling Sale by Tricolours Racing & Syndications for $40,000.
The well-named mare is out of the Red Ransom mare Tanqueray, who is also the dam of stakes-placed filly Nothin’ on Me, a daughter of Not A Single Doubt.