Flemington Victory for Sans Doute

Date: 21 Dec 2023

Flemington Victory for Sans Doute

Winning as she liked, Sans Doute (4 m Not A Single Doubt – My Prerogative, by I Am Invincible) took out the A$50,000 Tick Homes Benchmark 70 1000 metres on 20 December at Flemington (Melbourne).

As a Maiden, Sans Doute showed ability when runner-up in the Gold Trail Stakes (Listed, 1200m) before posting a last-to-first three length Maiden win in December last year, and she could hardly have been more impressive scoring for the fourth time.

Having done very well for third off a wide run in the Benchmark 70 1000 metres on 17 November at Moonee Valley, Sans Doute drew barrier eight of nine on the straight course which played into her hands.

With the intention of making her run to the outside of rivals, jockey Celine Gaudray (a2) had Sans Doute jogging along while biding her time and when she released the brakes at the 200m the response was immediate.

Sans Doute raced clear to score by three lengths, running 1000 metres in 57.4 on Good4 footing, and paid $3.20 & $1.50 on the NZ TAB tote.

“She saddled up really well, but I find that some horses come to Flemington for the first time and it’s big and scary for them and can take a while to adjust,” said Te Akau's Australian assistant trainer Ben Gleeson. “Once she got onto the track she cantered away lovely and I was relieved then. 

“She came over from New Zealand, and was quick to put in a good effort (second) behind a nice filly of Matthew Smith’s (Frilled, by Star Witness) at Moonee Valley.

“We brought her back to Moonee Valley, last start, where she was caught out by a biased track but rattled home (third), and we thought she would suit the straight course.

“We’d given her five weeks between runs. She’d had a jump out in which she was super, so just keeping the freshness in her legs.

“Mark (Walker) said one of her best runs in New Zealand was when she was held up and let rip, so we’ve tried that the last two starts and we’ve seen better performances.”

Spacing her races, Gleeson suggested her next outing could also be on the straight course at Flemington, in the $130,000 Mares Benchmark 78 1100 metres on Saturday 20 January.  

After trialling her recently, Gaudray was impressed with the win, saying: 

“She sure did her job today. I trialled her a few weeks ago on a softer track and she trialled really nicely, but she really, really, enjoyed the straight here today.

“She’s quite a fierce filly, so her being ridden patiently was the go today. I got her relaxed, probably too well, so had to give her a few little niggles but when I went for her she was really good.”

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

At the time of purchase, Ellis said: “She is a very elegant filly, from a good family, and we thought she was the best filly in the sale by Not A Single Doubt. 

“With him (Not A Single Doubt) no longer serving, fillies like this are becoming rare commodities and we were thrilled to be able to secure her.  She is from a fast family, full of black type winners, that included 2000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m) winner Ugo Foscolo (Zacinto), so a family we can relate to in New Zealand.”

After watching the race, Ellis added: “It’s great to have another win for the stable at Flemington, after we were there to see Skew Wiff (Savabeel) win The Hong Kong Jockey Club Stakes (Gr. 3, 1400m) on Melbourne Cup Day, and of course Imperatriz win the Darley Champions' Sprint (Gr.1, 1200m) on the last day of the carnival.

“It’s a big stage, and it's great to see the tangerine colours winning on such an iconic course. I was really impressed by the ride of Celine Gaudray and the way that Sans Doute put them away.  She’s always been a talented filly and I expect she can really come on for a win like that.

“All credit to Mark (Walker), who thought races around the 1000-metre mark would suit her in Melbourne, and as usual his judgement has proved to be spot on. 

“I’m so thrilled for our Australian team over there. They’ve been working really hard at our stables at Cranbourne, which is a state of the art facility.”

The sentiments were also echoed by trainer Mark Walker.

“It was a lovely ride and a really good win, and it just opens up so many more opportunities for her now that she has shown to handle the straight at Flemington,” Walker said.

“I love the way she attacked the line. She’ll only take a lot of confidence out of the win and we think she’s got the ability to go on with the job.”

Sans Doute carries a bloodline cross through her sire lines of Golden Slipper (Gr. 1, 1200m) winner Canny Lad, by speed sire Bletchingly (Biscay). 

Sans Doute was strapped by Hailey Morton.


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