Mare proves to be In­vin­ci­bella

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - SPORT - NATHAN EXELBY MAGIC MIL­LIONS GUINEAS

BRIS­BANE-based breeder An­drew Grant-Tay­lor was bask­ing in the glory of his first $2 mil­lion win­ner after In­vin­ci­bella went back-to-back in the Magic Mil­lions F&M at the Gold Coast yesterday.

The Chris Waller-trained mare proved a shade too strong for Godol­phin mare Man­i­cure, who had en­joyed a soft run on the speed.

Grant-Tay­lor, a phar­ma­cist by pro­fes­sion, has been chip­ping away in the breed­ing game for the best part of two decades and knows how dif­fi­cult it is to get a good horse.

“A lot of hard work, a lot of empty dry creek beds and one river of gold through one part of the fam­ily. Fan­tas­tic,” he said.

“She is re­ally tough. She had three weeks off at the end of the winter. At the end of the second week a wind­storm came through and she bashed down an iron fence they had to take off and run over to straighten again.

“The fol­low­ing Satur­day she was back in work.

“When I saw her on Tuesday she was ban­daged heav­ily in three legs and she was back in work on the Satur­day. She’s a tough girl.”

In­vin­ci­bella’s story dates back to the Karaka sale of 2002 when Grant-Tay­lor bought her grand-dam Lu­mi­nata.

“We sent Lu­mi­nata to Galileo and Ab­scond (In­vin­ci­bella’s dam) was the re­sult,” he said.

“She was hope­fully go­ing to be my Oaks filly, but un­for­tu­nately she got a leg in­jury that caused her trou­ble.

“So she was re­tired and we went to I Am In­vin­ci­ble the first year on the ad­vice of Brett Howard and we got a very large, healthy girl.”

She was pre­pared for the 2015 Magic Mil­lions, where Denise Martin’s Star Thor­ough­breds gave $185,000 for her and Grant-Tay­lor bought a share to get back in.

“Some of my friends say it’s a pity you sold her, but if I hadn’t sold her she wouldn’t have ended up with Chris Waller and we prob­a­bly wouldn’t have had the ride we’ve had today,” he said.

“Some things are meant to be and I couldn’t be more de­lighted.”

The last re­main­ing chal­lenge for In­vin­ci­bella is to net that elu­sive Group 1 win.

Win­ning rider Hugh Bowman said the five-year-old wasn’t as ef­fec­tive when she got over more ground.

“This is her per­fect dis­tance. 1200m is too short and she’s not at her best at 1400m,” he said.

“The favourite had things its own way and I was lucky I was able to find his back on the cor­ner. I’m so proud of this girl. She thor­oughly de­serves it.”

Waller said Bowman’s ride proved the dif­fer­ence.

“She’s got a bit of class and it was good to see her get the up­per hand over the last 50m,” he said.

GLORY DAYS: An­drew Grant-Tay­lor and wife Nielma after In­vin­ci­bella’s win. Picture: Track­side Pho­tog­ra­phy

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