Vi­adana be­lies lowly price tag

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

up for the fight.

‘‘I’ve had the Queen of the Turf in mind for quite a while,’’ he says.

‘‘That’s why we backed off her af­ter she ran fourth in the Zabeel Clas­sic at Christ­mas. We could have gone to Tren­tham for the Thorn­don Mile but in­stead I fresh­ened her and then when she came back and won the NRM Sprint at Te Rapa I knew she de­served to go to Syd­ney.’’

The cru­cial part of that plan is a con­tin­u­a­tion of her form and in that re­spect No­ble could not have wished for more.

Af­ter a hard-luck fourth in the Haunui Group I Clas­sic at Otaki, she ex­ceeded ex­pec­ta­tions when car­ry­ing top­weight of 59 kilo­grams to vic­tory in the Ja­pan/ New Zealand Tro­phy at Tau­ranga last month and then fronted up at Te Aroha to score the best and most im­pres­sive win of her ca­reer.

What Vi­adana is achiev­ing now is a far cry from her early form, but not ex­actly a sur­prise to those clos­est to her.

‘‘As a year­ling she was plain but there was still a lot to like about her and the price was right to form a syn­di­cate,’’ No­ble re­calls.

‘‘She was tough to break in and for a start she was a very finicky eater, she was light and can­tan­ker­ous.

‘‘She al­ways looked like she would need time but when she went to her first trial as a late 2-year-old and fin­ished third on a light prepa­ra­tion I knew she had some­thing. When I got her back at 3 she came along steadily and won a maiden at Te Teko, but she was still a long way off.

‘‘What made her was be­ing told by her own­ers I could take as long as I felt I needed, and what we’re see­ing now is pretty much the re­sult of be­ing al­lowed that time.’’

Last au­tumn Vi­adana broke through for her first Group I win in the Easter Hand­i­cap at Eller­slie and on her re­turn to work No­ble knew that wasn’t the end of it.

‘‘Even last sea­son as a 5-yearold she wasn’t fully ma­ture, but when she came back to the sta­ble last spring she was the heav­i­est she had ever been, around 520 ki­los. The amaz­ing thing about her prepa­ra­tion this sea­son is the way she’s thrived, she’s just kept putting on weight.

‘‘Go­ing into Satur­day she weighed 526 ki­los and the way she won and came through it just showed how she has blos­somed and gained that con­fi­dence. She’s al­most ar­ro­gant now and but most of all she’s en­joy­ing what she’s do­ing.

‘‘That counts for a lot and . . . I think it’s the right time to be head­ing across to Aussie.’’

Per­fect re­sult: Craig Grylls cel­e­brates yet an­other big win on Vi­adana in the $200,000 Fiber Fresh New Zealand Thor­ough­bred Breed­ers’ Stakes at Te Aroha.

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