Zac Butcher couldn't help but ponder on what could have been following the victory of Ideal Belle in last night's Group I New Zealand Oaks at Addington.
Six days earlier the talented young horseman could only watch in horror and then disbelief as the speedy filly was firstly decked at high speed on the final bend in the Nevele R Fillies Final only to pick herself up and run a gallant second to Venus Serena.
Last night though, there was no bad luck as the Barry Purdon-trained filly dashed away with the coveted feature.
"It should have been two Group I wins," Butcher quipped on his way back to the stable.
"But one is better than nothing so I'm not too concerned now."
With the aid of a trail last night behind the free-wheeling Raksdeal, Butcher was able to angle Ideal Belle into the clear at the top of the straight and she did the rest - dashing away for a dominant victory.
"It got a little tight around the last bend again and she really locked on so I was keen to get her out in to the open as soon as I could to avoid any trouble.
"She's really improved this girl, I think she is a cracking chance at the Jewels because she has such unreal speed."
Raksdeal finished a brave second while Te Amo Bromac dashed into third.
Favourite, Venus Serena went back from her wide draw and was forced to work hard during the middle stages before her run came to an end early in the run up the straight.
Earlier in the night, Border Control came within a nose of booking himself a ticket to the Harness Jewels in Cambridge.
Beaten narrowly by Jivin Cullen in the 3200m Winter Cup, the Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen-trained pacer needed a victory to ensure he would qualify for the rich raceday, but will now be relying on the misfortune of others if he is to make the trek north.
The $3340 he picked up for finishing second took him to 15th on the order of entry with Mighty Flying Mac, who finished third last night, just nudging him out of the lucrative 13th spot.
With the connections of Australian invite, Guaranteed, withdrawing from the series yesterday afternoon - 13 horses from New Zealand will now get the chance to compete as opposed to the normal 12.
Away from Border Control, Jivin Cullen was tremendous.
The big pacer received no respite throughout the staying feature with Mighty Flying Mac racing keenly on his outside for most of the race.
Exciting trotter Jayceekay continued her march toward better things earlier in proceedings with her second victory in just three starts.
The John Boylan-trained mare cruised home in the C1 trot with a motionless Blair Orange asking for little extra in the run up the straight.
Touted as a potential star early in her career, the daughter of Monkey Bones looks destined to go right to the top.
- The Press
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