Mar 24, 2016
Expectations were high that beautifully bred filly Abbey Marie would perform well at debut and she did not disappoint, at Sandown on Wednesday charging through the field to salute in impressive fashion.
Sent out a short priced favourite in The Cove Hotel Maiden Plate, the Redoute's Choice three-year-old settled back along the rails for Craig Williams, always travelling well.
Saving ground turning, Abbey Marie had horses in front of her straightening but when a split came she took it with gusto, quickly putting ground on her rivals - her winning margin a soft 3/4 length.
"She has always been a nice filly," Michael Kent said, happy to see the bay find her feet back in the field before making her run.
"She has shown at home that she operates better taking a sit."
Kent has high aspirations for Abbey Marie, hoping to make an Oaks filly out of her - "I know it is only her first racing preparation but I would like to go to Adelaide with her."
Kent has already won an Oaks with this family, Abbey Marie being a full sister to his AJC Oaks heroine Absolutely who was one of many big race winners sold to Japan to visit that country's leading stallions.
"She is a different type to Absolutely," Kent said, "she is a bit sharper with more muscle."
The stable had to bid strongly to secure Abbey Marie at the 2014 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale but the $300,000 looks well spent.
"She has got black-type written all over her," said jockey Craig Williams who was most impressed with Abbey Marie's debut performance.
"She is a very nice filly with good acceleration, in fact when I asked her for her effort she gave me two bits of acceleration!"
Bred by Teeley Assets, also breeders of Redoute's Choice, Abbey Marie boasts an interesting pedigree with three different strains of the influential matriarch Almahmoud - Northern Dancer, Danehill and Catrail.