Written by Paul Vettise
Savabeel is the dominant stallion force in New Zealand and he again emphasised the influence he has with a Group 1 quinella at Te Aroha.
Responsible for six of the 11 runners in the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders' S., the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained Nicoletta (NZ) responded to an aggressive ride by Jake Bayliss to turn her recent form around and defeat Supera (NZ).
Waikato Stud’s Savabeel has enjoyed another splendid season to date with 18 stakes winners and 88 in total. The former G1 Cox Plate winner is also running at a lifetime record of more than 70 per cent winners to runners.
“She just hasn’t had anything go right.” – Andrew Forsman.
Nicoletta has twice placed at G1 level, included a third in this race 12 months ago, but her two previous runs to open her current campaign had been below par.
She was ridden with urgency by Jake Bayliss to lead from a wide gate and they surged clear 300 metres from home with what proved to be the winning break.
“She just hasn’t had anything go right,” he said. “She hasn’t been going poorly and looked outstanding.
“I said to Jake that she was hard-fit and ready to go so put her in the race and give her a chance.
“She is good enough to beat these types of horses and she showed that.”
“She is good enough to beat these types of horses and she showed that.” – Andrew Forsman.
Forsman also paid tribute to the way Bayliss rated the mare at the head of the field.
“He rode her a treat,” Forsman said. “She’s twice Group 1 placed and is deserving of a Group 1 win so I’m glad she’s got it.
“He timed it to perfection as I said, just out-stay them as she won’t beat them in a sprint home.
“He took it to them and she was just the toughest, fittest horse. They were coming at her late, but he got it right.”
While Nicoletta was at long odds, Bayliss wasn’t surprised by her courageous performance.
“It’s my third Group 1 and Mum was here to watch it, so it’s something special.” – Jake Bayliss.
“I gave her a little bit of a chance just because of the way she was going to be ridden although there were some quality horses in the field,” he said.
“When you lead like that you set it up for the back-markers, but she stuck to her guns, it was just a brave, brave run.
“It’s my third Group 1 and Mum was here to watch it, so it’s something special.
“I’m off to Brisbane again in two weeks’ time for the carnival and then some family time, but you will see me back here again in August.”
Nicoletta was bred by Goodwood Stud and sold through their 2015 draft to New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sale at Karaka for NZ$90,000 to Bruce Perry. He purchased the mare on behalf for Lib Petagna’s JML Bloodstock.