New Zealand-bred mare Travelling Kate has put retirement plans on hold with a purple patch of form, which she continued with a hard-fought win in Saturday’s A$160,000 ACY Securities Handicap (1800m) at Rosehill.
The well-related daughter of Savabeel has hardly put a foot wrong in the last 12 months, recording two wins and six placings from a dozen starts during that time.
After resuming with a fifth at a midweek Canterbury meeting in June, Travelling Kate returned to the same venue for a third placing and a win from two further midweek appearances during July. Trainer Brad Widdup stepped the six-year-old up to Saturday class at Rosehill and was richly rewarded with another strong performance.
“She’s been a lovely mare the whole way through,” Widdup said. “We’ve been dead stiff a few times with luck in running. I don’t think she’s racing any better now – I think she’s just getting a bit of luck, and she’s probably beginning a little bit better than she has in the past as well.
“I’m glad we persevered. There were a few times where I said to Max (Whitby, owner-breeder) that it might be time for her to go to stud, but she’s going terrific now. We might have to keep her for another 12 months, but I’ll see what Max says.
“No doubt Mick (Malone) from Kitchwin Hills will be trying to grab her, but we’ll see what happens. While she’s racing well, we’ll keep going anyway.”
Travelling Kate enjoyed a cosy run just behind the speed on Saturday with in-form jockey Tyler Schiller in the saddle. As the favourite Wineglass Bay strode forward to take the lead rounding the home turn, Travelling Kate was tracking through behind him and travelling well.
It initially looked like most of the action at the business end of the race would come wider out on the track, where the well-supported Bazooka was among a line of horses finishing strongly, but Travelling Kate caught them all off guard. She dashed through on the inside of Wineglass Bay, hitting the lead with just under 200m remaining. Wineglass Bay lifted again and tried to regain the advantage, but Travelling Kate kept fighting and held him out.
“It was a good, tough win,” Schiller said. “She jumped sharply today, which probably helped her get into stride first, and then she was in a lovely rhythm when the speed went on.
“At the 200, I thought I got to Wineglass Bay too quickly, and then she just floated a little bit while the other horse was tough. I thought she did a really good job in the last 100, just to dig in and keep fighting. She’s a mare in form, and Brad’s placing her really well, so it’s good to see her going on the up.”
Travelling Kate’s 32-start career has now produced five wins, 12 placings and A$233,172 in stakes.
She is one of two winners from three named foals out of A Touch Of Ruby, who herself won four races in Whitby’s green, white and red colours, headed by the Gr.1 Thorndon Mile (1600m). The Pins mare is also a half-sister to the Group One winner Loire and the stakes-placed Aquaoir.
Travelling Kate began her career in the Matamata stable of Stephen Autridge and Kris Shailer, for whom she had eight starts for a win and a placing before relocating across the Tasman. – NZ Racing Desk.