Katie Lee swamps Alagant Satin (obscured) and Occidentalis. www.raceimages.co.nz
History making steel grey mare Katie Lee (4 Gr. M. Pins – Miss Jessie Jay, by Spectacularphantom) showed at Hastings on Saturday that she had lost none of her brilliance or tenacity when coming from a seemingly impossible position to win the $70,000, Group III, Traderacks Stakes over 1400-metres.
In November last season Katie Lee became the first horse in New Zealand to win both the 1000 and 2000 Guineas, at Riccarton racecourse in Christchurch.
She is trained by Graeme and Debbie Rogerson for Sir Patrick and Lady Hogan.
After settling at the rear of a twelve horse field, eight-lengths off the lead at the 600m, receiving a check when held up on the home turn, and from last at the 300m, Katie Lee roared home to score by a neck.
What a win!
She got up to nail Alagant Satin (Al Akbar), with a nose to Occidentalis (Scenic).
There was a rider swap. Unable to make the 52.5kg weight, her usual rider Opie Bosson gained the mount on Occidentalis, in an act of generosity from his owner John Thompson that saw James McDonald released to ride Katie Lee.
“It was pretty incredible really”, said McDonald. “I’d like to thank Opie.”
“Debbie (Rogerson) told me to be patient on her. I was probably a bit further back than they would of liked me, but I bided my time, I didn’t panic too much, just let her run home, come of Occidentalis’ back and she was just too good for them. In all her races she had a 200m sprint and that’s what she did today”, McDonald said.
On good going, Katie Lee ran the 1400-metres in 1:21.82.
Sir Patrick said Katie Lee would now embark on a trip to Melbourne for the $500,000, Group I, Myer Classic (1600m), a weight-for-age fillies and mares at Flemington on AAMI Derby Day, October 30.
With a likely lead-up in the $150,000, Group III, Tesio Stakes (1600m) for mares at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate Day.
“She missed the cut for the Cox Plate due to the weather”, Sir Patrick said. “As a team we’ve all been so patient with her. We could have been tempted for the Ormond, tempted if we’d pushed her by running on wet tracks to get her fit, but we were patient and got the perfect track for her today. On Cox Plate day there is a suitable fillies and mares race, with the next big target being the group one half-million dollar race on Derby Day. So, it’s too late for the Cox Plate.”
Debbie Rogerson had considered her charge to be one run short coming into the Hastings assignment, and was suitably impressed with the performance.
“To get over the top of them like that was fantastic to see the Kate back”, she said.
“I told James to hold her up, hold her up. She’s only got that 200m sprint, but when you ask her to go, she goes. The more you hold up when you let her down she’ll break 11 seconds.”
While tough to comprehend the way Katie Lee wins, belief continues to grow in her ability to continually do what often appears unfeasible.
“It’s the way she did it. I mean, she was no hope. No hope at all”, said Sir Patrick following the victory. “How many times does she just get there on the post?”
While the optimism of Graeme Rogerson always shines through.
“I said to Deb when she was still last at the furlong, ‘she still wins’.”