Written by Paul Vettise
Vinicunca (I Am Invincible) added performance to her rich pedigree at the first time of asking in Thursday’s G3 Maribyrnong Plate.
While Australian-bred and trained, there was a nevertheless strong international theme again evident at Flemington with the regally-bred filly ridden by Irish jockey Wayne Lordan, who donned the Niarchos silks.
Global breeding and racing giant Coolmore dominated the finish as they are part owners of the winner and also share in the ownership of runner-up Art Collection (Fastnet Rock) a half-sister to the former champion sprinter Lankan Rupee (Redoute’s Choice).
Vinicunca is prepared by Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott and she completed a notable 2-year-old double for the Sydney handlers, who also won the Listed Maribyrnong Trial with the colt Unite And Conquer (Hinchinbrook).
“She’s a nice, sharp filly and we identified her in Sydney as a bright prospect and specifically brought her here for this race,” Bott said.
“She was good in two jump-outs and in her latest she showed good early speed.”
Named after a Peruvian mountain, Vinicunca was again quickly into stride to race on the pace and she answered Lordan’s every call to make the perfect start to her career.
“Thanks to Tom Magnier who got me the ride on this filly and Mrs Waterhouse said whatever she does she will improve.” - Wayne Lordan.
“Thanks to Tom Magnier who got me the ride on this filly and Mrs Waterhouse said whatever she does she will improve,” Lordan said.
“She travelled quite nicely and just got a bit idle when she got there. She’s a nice filly going forward.”
Vinicunca is now likely to be given a break with an eye to later season Group 1 features such as the Blue Diamond S., and the Golden Slipper S.
“We’ll keep all our options open. We’ll assess what happens and she might have a break now and come back for those big targets,” Bott said.
“She’s beautifully-bred and obviously very talented and very exciting.” – Adrian Bott.
“She’s beautifully-bred and obviously very talented and very exciting. She showed her athleticism and fighting qualities.
“She looked like she got a bit lost down the straight for the first time and didn’t have the fence to follow, but when she was challenged dug deep,”
While disappointed by the slender loss, Art Collection’s co-trainer Ben Hayes was taking a positive attitude and could see honour in defeat.
“It was a tough watch, but she ran really well and will learn a lot from that experience. She was only beaten a millimetre.” – Ben Hayes.
“It was a tough watch, but she ran really well and will learn a lot from that experience. She was only beaten a millimetre.”
The stable also saddled the fourth placegetter Fanaar (Stratum) with their pair split by the favourite Chicago Bull (Exceed And Excel), who kicked on bravely after making the running.
“It was a good run from Fanaar. He got a bit lost early and was strong through the line,” Hayes said.