Australian Black Type Goals for Sans Doute

Date: 21 Jan 2024

Australian Black Type Goals for Sans Doute

NZ Racing News reports:

Te Akau Racing continue to make their presence felt in Australia since opening a Cranbourne stable in the spring and four-year-old mare Sans Doute (Not A Single Doubt) made it back-to-back wins at Flemington when a game winner of the Black Caviar Lightning Race Day, 17 February (1100m). 

Perfectly ridden by apprentice Celine Gaudray, Sans Doute sat closer to the sedate speed than anticipated and followed the rail home for a narrow victory over A Little Deep (Deep Field). 

Trainer Mark Walker has now had nine wins in Victoria this season and sits sixth on the premiership by prizemoney, with stable stars Imperatriz (I Am Invincible) and Skew Wiff (NZ) (Savabeel) contributing much of the more than A$4million in stakes the stable has earned. 

Placed in the Gr.3 Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) in New Zealand at three, Sans Doute is relishing her time at the Cranbourne stable according to Walker’s Assistant Trainer Ben Gleeson. 

“Working with Mark and the trust he shows in myself to try and place these horses, it’s a team effort, and to see the way she has progressed since she got here – in the early days she had a poor run and now she has found form – it’s very satisfying,” Gleeson said. 

“I had a phone call with Mark earlier, saying usually you don’t really want to be drawn down on the rail but with the form that Celine’s in we will just trust her. Sure enough the first few straight races were won on the rail, so we were sitting pretty. 

“We were just hoping that the gaps would come and they certainly did.”

Gleeson said the daughter of Not A Single Doubt enjoyed having her races spaced and a black-type target was high on the agenda. 

“She has had a pretty long preparation now but we will see how she pulls up. Whether a week at the water-walker or a couple of weeks in the paddock might do her wonders,” Gleeson said. 

“We would like to try and find some more black-type with her, potentially in Adelaide.” 

Sans Doute was purchased by David Ellis CNZM for $300,000 at the 2021 Australian Easter Yearling Sale, from the draft of Arrowfield Stud, and owned by Te Akau In No Doubt Racing Partnership (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM).

Meanwhile stable star Imperatriz has taken another step to her racetrack return, stepping out for a gallop between races at Cranbourne on Friday night.

The superstar mare won three Group  Ones  in succession last spring and is looking to repeat the effort this campaign, starting with the Gr.1 Lightning Stakes (1000m) in late February.

Group One winning stablemate Skew Wiff also stepped out at Cranbourne, with both horses working separately over 1000m. 

“A trip away from home, it stimulates horses when you take them away from their own environment,” Gleeson said.

“I’m sure people saw in the pre-parade ring they were both a bit fresh and bouncy, so just to switch them on like that is a great experience.”

On first impressions, Gleeson said both gallopers did exactly what he wanted.

“Both were spot-on, they both looked to corner well, change their lead legs and do everything right,” he said.

“Once they came back in they wouldn’t have blown for too long, so just shows their fitness is progressing the right way.

“We couldn’t be happier with that piece of work from both of them.

“Imperatriz will go to the Lightning first-up on the February 17, so not long now,” he said.

“She might have another track gallop at Sandown or somewhere, and then we’ll take her for an official trial here at Cranbourne on February 5.

Gleeson is also delighted with the progression of Skew Wiff, who will likely stay in Victoria for the autumn.

“She’s absolutely flying. We’re just as happy with her as we are with Imperatriz,” he said.

“We’re tossing up heading to the Oakleigh Plate (Gr.1, 1100m), so she’ll probably head there, and then the Newmarket (Gr.1, 1200m) is an option for her after that.”

Photo credit - Bruno Cannatelli


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