Sans Doute Flies at Flemington

Date: 21 Jan 2024

Sans Doute Flies at Flemington

Making it back-to-back course wins, Sans Doute (4 m Not A Single Doubt – My Prerogative, by I Am Invincible) won the A$130,000 Black Caviar Lightning Race Day 1100 metres on Saturday at Flemington. 

Having done very well for third off a wide run in the Benchmark 70 1000 metres on 17 November at Moonee Valley, Sans Doute won as she liked in the Benchmark 70 1000 metres on 20 December at Flemington, and followed suit with a month between runs. 

Although a different situation, after drawing wide last time and stalking nearer the outside rail, Sans Doute was dictated to from barrier one to travel on the inner, but the outcome remained the same.

Ridden by apprentice Celine Gaudray (a1.5), claiming to 58.5kg, Sans Doute was quiet through the early stages before picking up to the inside of runners, was asked to extend nearing the 300m, and fought determinedly to hold her closest rival at bay.

On Good4 footing, Sans Doute ran 1100 metres in 1:02.9 and drifted in betting to pay $4.50 & $1.70 on the NZ TAB tote. 

“I was a bit worried when she hit the front a long way from home, but she’s in really good form,” said trainer Mark Walker.

“Our assistant trainer Ben (Gleeson) and the team have done a great job with her and to win twice in a row at Flemington is not easy to do. So we’re very happy.

“Obviously she loves racing down the chute and did well with a bit of time between runs, so we’ll see how she pulls up before coming up with her next target.”

A stakes' placed winner of five races from 13 starts, 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).

“It was quite a contrasting run compared to last time and it’s never easy to win from the inside on the straight course at Flemington,” Ellis said.

“But Mark (Walker) and Ben (Gleeson) have got her going really well and we’re starting to see the reality of the ability she showed last season.

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

Ellis had just watched stable-mate Fierce Flight (Flying Artie) produce a mighty run for second in the $300,000 Wellington Cup (Gr. 3, 3200m) at Trentham, on the back of Sans Doute winning in Melbourne.

“I thought he had it for a time and it really was a brave effort as top weight,” Ellis said. “He’s been racing well and probably didn’t mind a bit of cut in the track. 

“But to go a race like that, giving the whole field the weight he did (58kg), I thought it was a terrific effort and a great training performance by Mark (Walker) and Sam (Bergerson). 

“To back up winning with a Not A Single Doubt mare Sans Doute at Flemington, what a thrill.”

Following his purchases of some beautiful yearlings on the Gold Coast, Ellis has been preparing for the New Zealand Bloodstock Yearling Sales Series (28 Jan. – 2 Feb.) at Karaka.

“We’ve spent the week looking at 480 yearlings, right around all the farms in the Waikato, with Marcus Corban and Joe Walls, and we’ll back at Karaka on Tuesday to continue narrowing done our buying list on the sales ground. 

“It’s a really exciting time of the year and I’m looking forward to, hopefully, buying the next Imperatriz or Campionessa or Quintessa. We’ll certainly be trying our hardest to do so.

“The horses are selling really well from the Gold Coast. The Colts’ Syndicate is 90% full and the expressions of interest in the yearlings we bought in Australia, and those upcoming at Karaka, is just incredible really.”

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

The main photo is part owner Hayley Govroko who flew from New Zealand to be on course at Flemington to watch Sans Doute race.  The win was a special and poignant one for her - the flashy chestnut was the final horse her beloved mother Carol took a share in before she suddenly passed away.  A very special result indeed, as Sans Doute raced with her navel wings on Saturday!  Hayley is pictured in the winners' circle with Te Akau Australia assistant trainer Ben Gleeson and winning jockey Celine Gaudray.


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