Sans Doute - Listed Melbourne Success

Date: 31 Mar 2024

Sans Doute - Listed Melbourne Success

Recording a winning quadruple on the straight course at Flemington, Sans Doute (4 m Not A Single Doubt – My Prerogative, by I Am Invincible) scored a valuable victory in the A$175,000 ATA/Bob Hoysted Stakes (Listed, 1000m) on Saturday.

Racking up a hat-trick on the course in the Resimax Group Plate (1100m) on 2 March, Sans Doute carried minimum weight (54kg) under jockey Michael Dee, was ideally drawn (3), brought the right form, and hovered around $5 - $6 in betting.

Snagged back from an inside draw to get behind runners and track to the outside, Sans Doute positioned last of nine, but travelled beautifully and once presented at the 350m she rocketed home in sensational fashion to claim a last gasp victory.

It was a high quality performance by both horse and rider, with Sans Doute affecting an incredible run of form at Flemington, and Kiwi jockey Michael Dee showing how polished he has become in the saddle.

“I spoke to Ben (Gleeson) pre-race and planned to come across the back of them and get to the outside, which is exactly what we did,” Dee said.

“But I didn’t anticipate being somewhat slowly away and then be a good two lengths off the second last horse.

“Once on to the course proper I’m guessing they (leaders) were 10 lengths in front and it was a very good and strong performance to win like she did. I’m not sure we’ll see a more impressive win today.

“She’s obviously absolutely flying this prep and she can’t do any wrong, and to win like she did I’d love to see what her sectionals were for the last 600m. And she might end up in Adelaide, as well.”

Te Akau Australia Assistant trainer Ben Gleeson said: “It was pretty impressive, and obviously Mick’s ride was 10 out of 10.

“We talked prior to the race about dragging her back and coming around the field, which is often easier said than done, but he was patient, knew her turn of foot was elite, the pace was on and the race mapped out as perfectly as we could have hoped.

“But the mare, full credit to her, she’s got an incredible turn of foot and her confidence keeps skyrocketing. 

“Finding a track like this (Flemington) that she loves has been great for her confidence, and once Mark (Walker) said to ride her cold and adopt those tactics it’s just been a perfect scenario for her every race.”

Speaking about the asset of the unique training setup at Cranbourne, Gleeson added: “Mark said to just play around with her and use the facilities, including two weeks out in the sand hills, which is work that has changed her mentally and single handily turned the mare around.

“Then it was just finding a good routine: four weeks between runs and the water walker, it’s just worked for her beautifully.”

The only runner on the programme for Te Akau, on Good4 footing, Sans Doute ran 1000 metres in 57.0 and held firm in betting to pay $5.90 & $1.90 on the NZ TAB tote.

“It's really hard to do that, winning four in a row and a lovely ride of Mick Dee’s,” Walker said. 

“Drawn three and to get her to that outside strip of ground, that is much faster down the straight, it was a really good ride.

“Ben (Gleeson) and the team have done a really good job with her and she’s going be an exciting prospect for next year, also.  We’ll now look to go to Adelaide for a Group Three 1100 metres, and then we’ll put her aside for the rest of the season. 

“It was certainly a very good win and she’s a valuable broodmare prospect now that Dave (Ellis) bought very well out of Sydney.”

The race Walker has in mind is the $150,000 John Hawkes Stakes (Gr. 3, 1100m) on Saturday 27 April at Morphettville. 

Sans Doute was purchased by David Ellis CNZM for A$300,000 at the 2021 Australian 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).

She has now won seven of her 15 starts, nearly NZ$430,000 in prize money, and has the pedigree to dramatically increase her residual value. 

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

When buying, Ellis considered her a natural looking athlete, with a great eye, and both the sire and dam-sire were atop the 2021 General Sires list in Australia.

“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,” he said.  

“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.

“We really thought she displayed a lot of potential when racing in New Zealand, but she’s gone to another level in Australia, and is maturing into a very competitive sprinting mare.

“It was a beautiful ride by Mick Dee and it was incredible to see her win from that far back.”

In addition to the victory by Sans Doute, Te Akau also won races at Ellerslie, with Puketiro (Savabeel), while Otahuhu (Overshare) scored in Singapore.

“We didn’t have many runners today, so to win in three different countries was fantastic,” Ellis said.

“I bought Sans Doute at the Sydney Easter Sale, and I’m heading there with my buying team next Tuesday to start our inspections ahead of the sale that starts next Sunday.

“We’ll look at every horse and hopefully we’re able to buy a few nice yearlings.”

Ells also made mention of a yearling Savabeel filly purchased in January at Karaka, who today had a three-year-old brother, Wymark, win the $300,000 Tulloch Stakes (Gr. 2, 2000m) at Rosehill, and now into $6 fixed (NZ TAB) for the $2m Australian Derby (Gr. 1, 2400m) on 6 April at Randwick.

“He won pretty well, looks a live chance in the Derby, and I bought the sister this year for $80,000 from the draft of Waikato Stud,” Ellis said. 

Sans Doute was strapped by Hailey Morton. 

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