The Black Book: Amelia's Dream filly carries the weight of expectation

5 min read

By Anthony Manton

The Black Book will identify race performances around Australia particularly worth following in the future. These may be high profile runners at trials and smaller tracks, or eye-catching performances, we'll aim to give you a horse to add to your pedigree or performance black book for the future.

The story of Amelia’s Dream (Redoute’s Choice) has been well publicised over the years.

The filly that made a demolition job of her opposition in her first two starts in Sydney and was raging favourite for the Golden Slipper before sustaining a career-ending injury shortly afterwards.

Gai Waterhouse paid $250,000 for Amelia’s Dream as a yearling at the 2007 Magic Millions Conrad Jupiters Yearling Sale.

A year later she won the Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes by 6.5L in near record time of 1.02.90 for the 1100 metres and many already had her name written on the trophy, however, that same afternoon once she had cooled down it was revealed Amelia’s Dream had pulled-up lame ending her Golden Slipper aspirations and she never raced again.

Watch: Amelia's Dream winning her maiden in spectacular fashion

Attention then turned to her offspring as the industry eagerly awaiting her progeny to hit the track hopeful they could achieve what Mum set out to.

Her first foal Forget Me Not (Encosta de Lago) was well sought after as a yearling bringing $910,000 at the 2012 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale when purchased by James Harron Bloodstock. Tragedy struck the family again as Forget Me Not broke down in her first official barrier trial at Warwick Farm in October 2012 and was euthanised.

Since then as a broodmare Amelia’s Dream has produced four foals to race, all have been winners with perhaps Impasse (Sepoy) the most successful but none have reached the heights of their famous dam.

Her latest foal to hit the track could perhaps change all of that as Miss Amelia (More Than Ready {USA}) now has to carry the weight of expectation.

The weight of expectation

Trained by Bjorn Baker Miss Amelia will make a low-key debut at the South Coast track of Nowra on Sunday afternoon.

“Bjorn loves giving horses a trip away from home." - Racing manager Jack Bruce

It might seem an unlikely starting point for Miss Amelia but Bjorn Baker regularly sends his horses to country tracks often for an educational run and to gain confidence before tackling city class races.

“Bjorn loves giving horses a trip away from home they inevitably improve with the float trip and it toughens them up,” said Bjorn Bakers Racing Manager Jack Bruce.

Miss Amelia has looked good at the trials, very good. She first trialled publicly on November 9 at Warwick Farm and professionally won her first heat, defeating subsequent stakes-winner and Golden Slipper runner Tenley (Medaglia D’Oro {USA}) in the process.

Miss Amelia is by More Than Ready

Ten days later she was sent to Rosehill trials and showed good speed to lead throughout hardly breaking a sweat and running good time.

After an eighteen-week break, Miss Amelia returned to the trials last week at Warwick Farm and easily won her heat again coasting to victory on the heavy track and running the fastest time of the morning for the four 800 metre 2-year-old heats. Her time was not that far off noted speedster and open-class galloper Puppet Master (Foxwedge) and considering Miss Amelia covered far more ground in her trial it was an exceptional effort.

Leading country rider Richard Bensley has been entrusted with the ride on Miss Amelia who will jump from barrier ten at Nowra.

Despite not being fully developed and an unassuming filly the stable is confident Miss Amelia can race up to what she has shown in her trials.

Jockey Richard Bensley will take the ride aboard Miss Amelia

“Mentally and physically she is still a bit immature and doing a few things wrong and the trip away to Nowra will help iron out a few of those issues,” said Bruce.

“She is a low-key filly who just goes about her work without a fuss but if she runs up to what we’ve seen in her trials she will just win,” said Bruce.

Miss Amelia holds a nomination for the Group 2 Percy Sykes Stakes at Randwick April 13 on day two of The Championships and Baker is using Nowra as a chance to gain valuable prize money and experience before stepping her up in grade.

"If she runs up to what we’ve seen in her trials she will just win." - Jack Bruce

“We had the option of trialling her again on Friday at Randwick or running at Nowra and we chose Nowra as like another trial and one where she can hopefully pick-up some prize money and get herself into the Percy Sykes”.

“It’s two weeks between runs and 1000 metres at Nowra into 1200 metres in the Percy Sykes which is ideal as well,” said Bruce.

Being from Amelia’s Dream the Baker stable is well aware there is an expectation that comes with training a filly from such a well-recognised family.

“Obviously when training a filly like her from such a well-known family there is a certain expectation that comes with that”.

“We don’t want to put too much pressure on her though and whatever she does this time-in will be a bonus because we’re looking at her being much better as a 3-year-old,” said Bruce.