Lucky owners formidable opponents

By: Chris Bassani
January 14th, 2012
Breaking News

For some owners it takes years to get a winner while for others it’s as easy as shelling peas.

Happily, Barrie and Midge Griffiths fit into the latter category.

Celebrating their 47th wedding anniversary, their two-year-old first-starter Formidable made it a special day when winning unexpectedly in the Better Beyond Plate (1000m) at Flemington today.

The Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra-trained filly drifted from $8 to $18 but proved too speedy for six other unraced horses.

Formidable lead and held on to defeat odds-on favourite If I Could, who looks to have a decent future after finishing strongly.

“It’s our 47th wedding anniversary so that is a bit of an omen,” Barrie Griffiths said.

“We thought she’d come for a bit of a jog around and then be home on Monday or Tuesday (for a spell) so I’m still shaking.

“I get some good help (picking yearlings) from George Smith and Ian McPherson, they help a lot.

“We normally just wait until they are three-year-olds before they race but this one is a bit of an exception.”

Jockey Chris Symons said the filly was still green.

“Going to the gates she had a tendency to be a little shy of the other horses but she showed brilliant speed,” he said.

“I just allowed her to travel where she was comfortable and she wanted to be in front.

“I had a bit of steering difficulty on her.

“I’m glad it was a straight race and not around a turn because I could have ended up being on the outside fence.

“The more I fought her the more she wanted to run out.

“She’s a bit tender in the mouth so I allowed her to be comfortable and just guided her with the whip.”

Formidable was not nominated for the $1m Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 25.

The Griffiths have raced many top horses including Melbourne Cup winner Tawrrific, Caulfield Cup winner Mannerism, Northwood Plume, Azzurro and Response.

Race 1 – 12:35PM Better Beyond Plate (1000 METRES)
Of $70,000.1st $42,700, 2nd $12,600, 3rd $6,300, 4th $3,150, 5th $1,750, 6th $700, 7th $700, 8th $700, 9th $700, 10th $700
Set Weights plus Penalties, Two-Years-Old, Apprentices cannot claim.
This race carries a SUPER VOBIS Nominators Bonus of $7,000 and a SUPER VOBIS Owners Bonus of $23,000 for qualified horses.Track Condition: Dead 4 Time: 0:57.53 Last 600m: 0:32.95 INTERIM RESULTS
Finish No. Horse Trainer Jockey Margin Bar. Weight Starting Price
1 6 FORMIDABLE Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra Chris Symons 2 54kg $18
2 2 IF I COULD (NZ) Mark Kavanagh Damien Oliver 0.75L 6 56kg $1.90F
3 7 POPULAR ACCLAIM David Hayes Dwayne Dunn 2.75L 3 54kg $16
4 3 PANIOLO Peter Snowden Mark Zahra 4.75L 1 56kg $10
5 5 YELLOW JERSEY Anthony Freedman Ben Melham 4.85L 4 56kg $4
6 1 ADJUSTER Byron Cozamanis Michael Walker 7.1L 7 56kg $26
7 4 WARRINGAL WARRIOR John Sadler Danny Nikolic 7.6L 5 56kg $15




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