Breednet’s Mark Smith gave us a front row seat at the Valley.
Punters were feeling for the smelling salts as favourite Loveyamadly was still searching for a run half-way down the Moonee Valley straight in Friday’s Adapt Australia Abell Stakes (1200m).
Regular rider Dale Smith pushed the Bel Esprit mare between runners but she then needed to hold off the swoopers as five horses crossed the line with a half-length between them.
The judge found a short-half-head advantage for Loveyamadly over the fast finishing Go The Knuckle with It Is Written a nose back in third.
“I needed just a little bit of luck but I knew they had gone fairly hard in the race,” Smith said.
“I elected to take a sit, just because the speed was a bit too strong for me. They just went too fast, I got the late split, and it’s just a matter of seeing the 1200 out.
“When I initially went for it, she got her head up a little and she hesitated but when I dropped a couple around her backside and went back to hands and heels, she really responded well.”
In earning her first stakes victory the ultra-consistent, Mick Price-trained mare, takes her overall record to 6 wins, 2 seconds and 1 third from 9 starts for earnings of $293,388.
A half-sister to the TJ Smith (G1) third American Crew (Stratum), Loveyamadly was a $60,000 purchase by United Syndications at the 2010 Inglis Premier Yearling sale. She is the third foal of the twice winning Danehill Dancer mare Beauty World, a half-sister to the Listed winner Firenza.
Beauty World has an unraced 2YO filly by God’s Own.
Loveyamadly becomes the 16th stakes winner for Eliza Park Stud’s Bel Esprit whose masterpiece Black Caviar is set to light up Moonee Valley on Friday night.