Consistent mare Shumookh scored an overdue win with a tough front running display in the Group 2 $400,000 JHB Syndications Golden Pendant (1400m) at Rosehill today.
The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained Shumookh has been placed three of her last four starts in Stakes company before poking her nose out on the line to score the narrowest of wins.
Tim Clark bounced Shumookh ($6) straight to the front to set the pace but she had to dig deep in the straight with plenty of challengers emerging from the pack.
“The second filly loomed up to me and got at least a lip if not a head in front but to Shumookh’s credit she fought hard but the last three strides Champagne Cuddles came at me again and I wasn’t quite sure. But she really deserved another win this filly,” Clark said.
Runner up Champagne Cuddles ($5 equal favourite) moved up to Shumookh at the 300m and at one stage appeared to get her nose in front but the toughness and determination of the Waterhouse-Bott trained mare shone through for her to get the judge’s nod in a very close finish.
The Kris Lees trained Princess Posh ($9.50) ran on from the back for third while the equal favourite Invincibella ended up in fourth position.
“I just loved the way she came again – as they used to say about dad’s horses, bone and muscle,” Waterhouse said.
“She was terrific. That’s what you look for, you look for those horses that can dig deep. She’s been an honest filly and she just shows she’s made the quantum leap.”
“I was standing in the crowd with the people and I thought ‘oh dash, we’ve been knocked out on the post’. And then when I watched the slow motion I thought ‘no, we’ve got it, we’ve got it’. ”
“She’ll have a great spring because this is really a Group 1 field. It really is. It is a very (high) quality race.”