REIGNING two-year-old filly of the year Mindarie Priddy was on the road to Sydney on Friday morning with a nine-start-maiden travelling companion.
Trainer-driver David Miles joked that the particular pacer chosen to keep the flying three-year-old company on the eight-hour journey made a better travelling partner than it did a racer at this stage.
As for Mindarie Priddy, she’s a character. A very, very talented character.
The daughter of Artistic Fella has won seven of nine career starts and will contest the first heat of the NSW Oaks tomorrow night at Tabcorp Park, Menangle.
Mindarie Priddy burst on to the scene as a juvenile with a track record-breaking debut run at Melton in a heat of the Australian Pacing Gold two-year-old fillies’ edition in April last year.
She backed it up with a win in the semi-final and then victory in the Group 1 APG final in May.
She went to Ballarat and made it four from four in June before another win at Melton and then a runner-up effort in the Group 1 Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Final when beaten narrowly by the supremely talented Distant Memory.
Mindarie Priddy returned to the track after a six-month spell recently at Shepparton in the Maria Keys 3YO, breaking the all-age track record in scoring a ridiculously easy 24.2m victory.
“They’ll know we’re there,” Miles said of his filly’s chances in the Oaks series at Menangle.
Miles said he hadn’t been sure the flying filly would improve from her two-year-old days as she’d been a strong, lean youngster, but his fears were allayed when she stepped back into work this time in.
“She’d put on 60kg and grown two inches. We were very pleased,” he said.
“She had two very good trials then came out and broke the record at Shepparton and did it seemingly very easily.”
Like all supremely talented types, be it humans or horses, it mustn’t be easy being a superstar. Like movie stars who make ridiculous demands in the dressing rooms, Mindarie Priddy herself has required more attention than most in the Miles’ Monegeetta stables.
“In I’d say 90 per cent of cases horses get their barrier certificate, or in standard bred racing we call it their qualification, at the first attempt. Some require another go, but that’s not common. She took seven goes,” he said.
“I had a full head of hair before we started trying to get her qualified.”
Miles said Mindarie Priddy would refuse to score up, gallop and carry on like a pork chop.
“It was amazingly frustrating. She’d play up at home, too. But we knew she had that much ability that it was worth persevering with her as a two-year-old and sure enough she won a couple of hundred thousand dollars, so it was well worth it,” he said.
Mindarie Priddy will start from position seven on the front line tomorrow night, outside other Victorian up-and-coming stars Quick Draft from the David Aiken yard and Whereibylong from Emma Stewart’s stable.
“She still gets fired up a bit and doesn’t like new surroundings, but we think she’s got enough ability to overcome one slight mistake she might make early,” Miles said.
by Cody Winnell (Harness Racing AU)