Tough and speedy mare Amelias Courage will make her final Australian appearance when she contests the $30,000 WASBA Pace for four and five-year-old mares over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
She has been sold to American interests and will do her future racing in the United States.
Ace trainer-reinsman Colin Brown would dearly love Amelias Courage to bow out as a winner and he is confident the Victorian-bred four-year-old will take plenty of beating.
“If she pulls up well, this will be her last run here and she’ll be off to America,” Brown said. “She has been purchased and all she needs now is a veterinary clearance.
“She will certainly appreciate the No. 1 barrier and returning to racing against her own sex. She has been racing in a lot better races than this. However, there are some handy types in this week’s event.
“Her overall record is not impeccable, but it is extremely good. Forget about her latest run when she drew barrier eight in a good race, the John Higgins Memorial three weeks ago. The draw took her out of it. She went back and ran home okay (finishing eighth behind Convert Denario).
“She can lead or breeze and has gone 1.55.2 in winning over 2130m in the breeze at Gloucester Park (beating Pavarotti in April 2018). She is tough and the plan on Friday night is to lead. We haven’t stoked this mare up for a long time. I think she can hold up and lead.
“I don’t think that they (the connections of Salacious Gossip) will want to play the same tactics as last week (when Salacious Gossip began brilliantly from barrier five and recorded a blistering lead time of 34.9sec. before setting a brisk pace and fading to finish last behind Talkerup over 2130m). But if Salacious Gossip is driven the same way this week (from barrier four) my mare certainly has the toughness to shoulder her.
“The main one I’m worried about is She Could be Good. She’s gone back to the Bond camp and if there is a lot of speed on, she could be too quick for us at the end. She has fast twitch and high speed. If anything is going to beat Amelias Courage, it will be something with a bit of high speed.”
Amelias Courage has raced in mixed company at her past 11 starts and should appreciate racing against mares. Her most recent victory was six starts ago when she raced without cover before beating It Aint Royal at a 1.56.2 rate over 1684m at Pinjarra on June 10 this year.
Brown said that Amelias Courage, who has had 57 starts for 12 wins, 17 seconds, six thirds and $128,260 in prizemoney, would be a strong and successful performer in sprint racing in America.
“She has been a good horse for her owners here and now we’re at the stage where we’ve got six promising yearlings coming up. Basically, horses have to be well above average to be kept racing here after they turn four. So, we’ve been sticking to that plan and have been selling a few and have been moving on to the younger stock where the money is.”
She Could Be Good will have many admirers, even from out wide at barrier No. 8. She had eight starts for three wins for leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond between March and June 2017 before switching stables. She returned to the Bond camp about two months ago and after a first-up seventh after galloping in a stand at Pinjarra She Could Be Good has impressed with fast-finishing efforts at her next two starts.
She surged home from eighth at the bell in a field of eight to finish an eye-catching third behind Pradas Ideal Dahling over 2130m last Friday week before finishing powerfully from 11th at the bell to be second to Talkerup over 2130m last week.
Star reinsman Chris Lewis said that the Barry Howlett-trained mare Delightful Mandy (barrier seven) had sound prospects. She led and finished fifth behind Im Beta Than Gouda over 2185m at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon.
“I’m not disappointed at all at her effort at Pinjarra,” Lewis said. “She got terrorized up the back when they’ve run 27sec. No horse will come back from a 27 quarter when you get crunched like that. She stuck it out quite well to finish where she did. Provided she hasn’t been hurt by that run I think she can run a very good race.”
Apart from Amelias Courage, She Could Be Good and Delightful Mandy, fast-finishing last-start winners Crystal Sparkles and Nowuseemesmile and in-form runners Cut Above and Bettorgrinanbarit are sure to be supported in what should be wide open betting event.