Abidewithme making most of racing
Class galloper Abidewithme is making the most of the time she has left before retiring to the broodmare paddock.
On Saturday she added the $100,000 Tauranga Stakes to her record and with three months remaining before compulsory retirement she will get up to three more chances to add a Group One win to her CV.
The time limit placed on the seven-year-old’s racing career is linked to what is now a dual role – racehorse and broodmare. A month ago she was mated with Tavistock, the latest headline stallion standing at Cambridge Stud, and under the rules covering such situations she is not permitted to race beyond the first trimester of her pedigree.
In the case of a horse that is 120 days, by which time Abidewithme’s foetus will be about the size of a grapefruit, and she will join owners Sir Patrick and Lady Hogan’s quality broodmare band at Cambridge Stud.
Racemares are no different to other female mammals in that their metabolism in the majority of cases blooms. That struck me again last week when I observed Abidewithme getting through trackwork for trainers Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards, and she lived up to that impression at Tauranga with a consummate performance in the big race of the day.
Having finished an unlucky third in her first start for the season three weeks earlier, Abidewithme found Saturday’s 1600-metres right to her liking as regular rider Michael McNab settled her at the tail of the small field and brought her with an irresistible late finish.
Just as local galloper El Pescado was being hailed the winner, Abidewithme ranged up and went on by to score a half-length win. That took her winning tally to nine and stakes past $440,000, with the promiser of more to come before time is called.
With three Group One placings already on her record, the goal now is to add a Group One win, with the first opportunity next month’s Captain Cook Stakes at Trentham. All going to plan she will then line up at Ellerslie on Boxing Day in the Zabeel Classic, a race named after the former champion Cambridge Stud stallion, who is the sire of Abidewithme’s dam, the former classy Jim Gibbs-trained racemare Crimson.
As they had the week before with Hall Of Fame in the New Zealand 2000 Guineas, the AutridgeRichards training partnership had to settle for third in one of the features on the final day of the Riccarton carnival, the New Zealand Cup. Even so, the performance by emerging stayer Imperium, a son of the Melbourne Cup winner Ethereal, held plenty of promise for the future.
On a day that favoured horses able to make their runs down the outside of the rain-affected track, the Wayne Hillis-trained Perfect Start put in a big effort to be narrowly beaten by the widest runner, Savabeel gelding Pump Up The Volume, in the New Zealand Cup.
Back at Tauranga, the Graham Richardson-trained Volpe Veloce claimed a consolation prize for missing the New Zealand 1000 Guineas when she outclassed her rivals to remain unbeaten in four starts.
In-foal racemare Abidewithme shows her class for win number nine in the Tauranga Classic.