A Career of Contrasts

May 23, 2014

She has only had six starts but already the career of La Veuve has been one of contrasts – the promising three-year-old mixing her form before a breakthrough victory at Bendigo on Thursday.

After an eye-catching debut third at Ballarat last spring, connections began to dream – “she ran very well at her first start,” Michael Kent recalled.

“And we were thinking Oaks races! But she went to Flemington and disappointed.”

Subsequently spelled, La Veuve was sound at her first two runs this campaign only to finish last as favourite at Geelong last month.

“She over-raced and just lost the plot,” Michael said, deciding after that to take her back to the trials “just to teach her to get off the bridle a bit.”

And she did just that, easily rounding up her rivals in an 1190m trial – so impressive that on Thursday punters gave her another chance and she was again sent out favourite.

Having pulled so hard over 2000m at her previous outing, La Veuve appreciated the faster tempo of the 1600m event and travelled much better midfield along the rails.

Saving ground at the turn, she got to second by the 400m with Michael Rodd – having her third ride on her – gently urging her home.

“He rode her particularly well,” Michael Kent said.

“She is not easy to ride and she doesn’t like the stick much so he just encouraged her that bit over the last furlong.”

Michael Rodd reported that he was happy throughout the race – “the pace was solid the whole way and she settled a lot better.”

“She was always going to keep her head in front,” he said after La Veuve engaged in a nose-to-nose battle over the final 200m.

“She has been a very difficult filly,” he continued, “she has a lot of ability but she can be very wayward.”

“She is bred to stay,” Michael Kent added, “but she just wants to charge and get her head up. She has got the talent, she will stay later. And today was the best she has raced which is encouraging.”

A New Zealand bred daughter of Montjeu’s Feehan Stakes winner Guillotine (pictured) - a half-brother to the Melbourne Cup winner Efficient - La Veuve is out of the winning Volksraad mare Shirl’s Girl from the family of stakes winners Dance Director, Strike Oil, Emirate, Abu Zaby and Chador.

Congratulations to her patient owners Steven Heavey, Ben Corser, Bernard Towson, Michael Russell, Brad Nolan, Danny Buxton, Dr Alana Mitchell, the Cut Throat Syndicate, Chris McIntyre, Helen Lenyszyn, the Falsify Syndicate, Grant Jacques, the Develop & Invest Racing Syndicate and Susanna Corser.