Scratchy Bottom's Epona Stakes
Mar 22, 2015
Ever since Scratchy Bottom showed herself to be a horse of superior talent when bolting in with her maiden at her Moonee Valley debut in October 2013 it has been Michael Kent's aim to secure black-type to ensure the ongoing value of the well related daughter of Sebring.
He achieved that with Scratchy Bottom's placings in last year's Australasian Oaks and South Australian Derby, the bay only just beaten in photo finishes in both Group One contests.
Below her best in a brief spring campaign, Scratchy Bottom was last but far from disgraced when resuming in the Group 3 Frances Tressady Stakes at Flemington in early March - getting a bit too far back off a tardy start and finding the 1400m too short.
But up to the 1900m of Saturday's Group 3 Epona Stakes at Rosehill Scratchy Bottom was well suited and, aided by a great ride by an in-form Craig Williams, she fulfilled Kent's ambition to win a stakes race - in the process making Scratchy Bottom a valuable broodmare prospect.
Settling back along the fence, Scratchy Bottom was always travelling well and as others panned wider in the straight, she railed gamely - for most of the straight looking a great place chance before really knuckling down late to find the line in determined style.
Nosing out the short priced favourite, last year's Australian Oaks heroine Rising Romance, Scratchy Bottom recorded the third success of her 12 start career, one which has seen her amass in excess of $310,000 in stakes.
And Michael Kent was delighted.
"What I have most wanted for her is to get a stakes win and she has done that now," he enthused, adding that he has always respected Scratchy Bottom's talent and stamina.
"She is a natural stayer," he said, noting that the Group Two Chairman's Handicap is a likely aim for the four-year-old with a trip to the Queensland carnival also a possibility.
And Kent is confident that the best is still to come for Scratchy Bottom who he describes s a mare who still has plenty of scope for improvement.
"I was looking at all these mares in the mounting yard today and she was most immature of all of them."
"She will be an even better horse later in the year so I am looking forward to the spring."
Riding Scratchy Bottom for the first time, Craig Williams was excited by the style of her victory, noting that his confidence in her increased as they made their way to the barriers.
"She felt so spritely," he said - "I think she enjoys being away."
"She travelled really well," he continued, "and half way down the straight I thought she was going to run a great second but the more I asked of her the more she lowered herself and the harder she tried."
"I was very impressed by the way she got to the line and the way she ran through the line."
A $120,000 graduate of the 2012 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale, Scratchy Bottom was bred by Reavill Farm. Raced by Rick Jamieson's Gilgai Farm, she sixth foal produced by the Group Two placed Danehill mare Silk Veil who sadly died last spring.
The dam of three other winners with a High Chaparral colt to come, Silk Veil is a daughter of the multiple stakes winning French mare Lady Of Persia, dam of local stakes winner Danasia and grandam of the Group One winners Zabrasive (Rosehill Guineas) and Cheeky Choice (Flight Stakes).
Bred on a 4 X 2 cross of Danehill, Scratchy Bottom is a descendant of famed Meld, one of only a handful of fillies to claim the English 1000 Guineas, the Epsom Oaks and St Leger treble.
Thanks to Sharon Chapman for the winning photo.