Stakes assignment next for impressive debutant

Grace’s Secret
Grace’s Secret (inner) and Stimulant battle out a desperate finish at Riccarton. Photo Credit: Race Images South

Impressive two-year-old filly Grace’s Secret has earned herself a shot at some black type early in her career after an eye-catching debut victory at Riccarton on Saturday.

The daughter of Vadamos looked like a seasoned professional as she jumped quickly from an inside barrier, railed beautifully around the home bend and then fought like a caged tiger to hold out the -166.67 favourite Stimulant to score by a head in the 800m dash.

Prepared by Shane Kennedy and Anna Furlong, Grace’s Secret had impressed when winning a trial by four lengths on the new synthetic surface at Riccarton earlier in the month although her trainers weren’t quite sure if that form would translate to raceday.

“She is pretty exciting and just a natural two-year-old who does everything right,” Furlong said.

“Even though she had won her trial so well, we weren’t that sure how she would go on raceday as she had only had a couple of short jumpouts on the grass before that.

“It was a little bit of the unknown going into the race and especially up against a horse like Stimulant who had been so impressive in his debut.

“As it turned out she really put up a massive fight and got the job done nicely.”

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 NZD$7,000 at the National Broodmare Sale at Karaka in 2019, with Grace’s Secret the resulting offspring.

Furlong was delighted to secure the win for the filly’s connections as they also prepare dual stakes winner Showemhowitsdone for the couple from their Riccarton Park base.

“This is the first horse that Dennis and Sally have bred and now won with, so they were just fizzing after the race,” she said.

“We have had a few horses for them including Showemhowitsdone, so it’s pretty neat to get another winner and it looks like there could be more in store.

“We weren’t that sure what we would do after Saturday, but she went home and licked her feed bin clean and has been bouncing around the place.

“I think we have to have a go at the stakes race on the last day of Cup Week now, so that will be our target for her.”

Furlong was referring to the Listed Welcome Stakes (1000m) that will be run at Riccarton on November 13.

Furlong also advised that Showemhowitsdone was close to resuming for her four-year-old season and would step out at Wingatui over 1400m on Melbourne Cup Day (November 2), with plans for her summer campaign to be decided after that run.

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