Miss Wonderland closes late to win first-up

Miss Wonderland
Miss Wonderland ridden by Linda Meech wins the Sheen Group Handicap at Sandown on Saturday. Photo: Racing.com

DAVID Brideoake-trained mare Miss Wonderland has kept its glittering first-up record intact after taking out a quality benchmark 84 race at Sandown.

The $4.70 hope at Sportsbet was saved up for one late burst at the long-time leader and short priced favourite Sprightly Lass ($1.50 at William Hill), which looked to be travelling well from the front but failed to deliver a sustained kick.

Rank outsider of the race For A Song rounded out the placings but did not return a dividend in a smaller field.

The win was Miss Wonderland’s third first-up attempt, takings its record to two wins and a placing. The horse got an armchair ride from Linda Meech, who bided her time and unleashed the mare at the optimal time.

Meech said she got plenty of encouragement from a former training star prior to her win aboard the classy mare.

“Big shout out to Peter Moody,” Meech said in the aftermath of the race.

“He rang me this morning and said ‘she’s going really good and good luck on her’, I appreciate his support … he’s been a supporter of mine for many years and it’s terrific to repay the favour.”

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Meech said the horse jumped better than expected over the 1000m distance, which gave her plenty of confidence that it could go on with the job.

“She sprung the lids really well and for a few strides I was a bit worried she’d want to run on me but she relaxed beautifully.

“All credit to Luke Nolan, he’s been trialling her really nicely for me.”

The win extended Miss Wonderland’s winning run to three victories from six attempts, and Meech believes the longer odds were not reflective of the horse’s winning chances.

“She settled well and gave a great kick, she’s stronger than older fillies and it really paid off on the wet track today.”

Without any pathways in place for the horse it will be a wait-and-see approach for team Brideoake with Miss Wonderland.

No matter what route they take, Meech thinks the horse will be successful going forward.

“I hope so,” the hoop said if she believes Miss Wonderland will be a progressive type.

“David’s got her back in great form and hopefully they can kick on with a few more wins, it’d be nice for them.”