It feels right for Pateman in the challenge stakes
Coach Mitchell Pateman hopes his return to Ascot and improved fitness will give Feels Playful a big chance to beat the listed Challenge Stakes (1500m) on Saturday.
Feels Playful ran a tenacious second in the listed Western Australian Breeders Classic (1400m) competition two weeks ago at Pinjarra, four weeks after scoring a second straight win at Ascot.
Feel Playful has been leading for much of the Breeders’ Classic and needed a good horse to beat her as All The King’s Men rallied to stand in the shadow of the column.
“She had a month between Breeders’ (Classic) runs and probably improved a bit after that run,” Pateman said on Tabradio.
“I thought she had done enough, she looked like she was beaten two or three times and then saw enough to beat them, but All The King’s Men grabbed her late.
“But she’s pretty tough and I’m not surprised she persisted for as long as she did.
“She just ate everything, did her job, she was as bright as a button.
“She handled her race very well, she was a strong chubby girl and nothing seemed to bother her.
“I think she is better now than when she entered the Breeder and she will run well.”
Bettors are leaning towards All The King’s Men to hold their ground once again in the Challenge Bets.
Gelding by Trevor Andrews leads the market at $2.60 with Tabtouch.
Feeling joyful is $4.40
Split the pair as Champion Fillies Staking Admiration Express winner for $3.40.
Saintorio is $5.50
Feels Playful, who debuted last June, has two wins and two seconds in her career five starts, both wins at Ascot.
The God of Dirty Play has drawn the eighth hurdle in the Challenge Bet. Holly Watson holds the mount.
“She raced well in Ascot and you would think she would take the lead tomorrow,” said Pateman.
“She’s going to be pretty tough to run down.”
Pateman, just starting his coaching career, is looking for a third bet win after his speedy mare This’ll Testya, won G3 Colonel Reeves Stakes (1100m) and Cyril Flower Stakes (1200m) last year.
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