The Winterbottom Stakes fence draw is something Mitchell Pateman has no control over, but he hopes it plays a key role in This’Ll Testya’s quest for victory in Saturday’s standout race at Ascot.
And not just because he thought a middle alley would support the seven-year-old mare’s chances.
Testa Rossa’s daughter drew a ninth hurdle in Group 1 worth $1.5 million but will start at gate eight if the emergency Titans Blinders don’t win the right to run.
That was exactly the scenario for Willoughby, who was coached by Michael, Mitchell’s late father, when he won a Group 1 Railroad Share in 1998.
“Willoughby has drawn nine and jumped from eight, that’s where it looks like we’re going, so hopefully history will repeat itself,” he said.
“She had the (wide) river ready but she was racing really well so maybe it would be nice to be somewhere in between.”
Winter bottom will be Pateman’s first Group 1 runner, who switched to training in the middle of last year after his weight brought his equestrian career to an early end.
The 27-year-old has had an admirable driving career, riding close to 750 winners, including a few at Group 3 level, but never really had too many chances of a real win. the highest level.
He is tormenting himself that he had one too early in his coaching career.
“It’s huge, I’m in the first 12 months of my coaching career, so to have a horse marketed in Group 1 is unthinkable,” says Pateman. .
“I never had a chance to ride in Group 1 because of my weight, so to be able to train one in my first 12 months and have it become as special a horse to me as I am. who she is, that’s satisfying.”
Pateman sets his sights on Shares Winterbottom with This’ll Testya after the seven-year-old was beaten for the first time by Winterbottom rival Miss Conteki in Crawford Stocks listed on October 15.
She again finished second to Miss Conteki in Group 3 Prince Of Wales Stakes (1000m) two weeks later before winning Group 3 Colonel Reeves Stakes (1100m) in her most recent appearance.
Pateman knows that form is good enough to compete with the locals, it’s just a matter of whether it’s good enough to stop the likes of Queensland star Rothfire, Godolphin pairing Paulele and Vilana, and Newmarket runner-up Handicap The Astrologist or not.
Pateman said: “As soon as she got in first and she was off the track and just got caught by Miss Conteki, I thought she was on the right track.
“She has prepared very consistently against the best horses we have to offer, now she just needs to prepare for the horses of the eastern states.”
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