Without rival, She Rules and Andrew Calder have the Cuddle Stakes in safe keeping. www.raceimages.co.nz
Boasting plenty of size and strength, She Rules (5 B. M. Commands – She’s Country, by Kenfair) returned to the scene of an Oaks win by her dam to take out the $70,000, Group III, Shinko King at Paxton Park Cuddle Stakes for fillies and mares over 1600-metres at Trentham on Saturday.
Last month, She Rules indicated her ripeness for such an assignment when in a fresh state she beat Katie Lee (Pins) in a sprint on dead footing at Ruakaka, while it was only her inability to produce an immediate sprint off the trail that saw the situation reversed on good ground at Hastings last time.
The writing was on the wall from the outset in the Cuddle when she gained a clear advantage after flying the gates for rider Andrew Calder, and after trucking along in front, before a breather through the mid stages, she sprinted away by three lengths in the straight to win easily.
South Island mare Royal Flight (Danzighill) showed her third in the Winter Cup was no fluke by finishing second, three-and-a-quarter-lengths away, while Lady Chaparral (High Chaparral) displayed her fighting qualities, on heavy footing not to her liking, when coming from a handy position on the inner for third.
The time of 1:48.46 for the mile was reflective of the testing ground, which hindered the prospects of many horses during the day, and She Rules returned terrific odds of $10.20 & $3.30 on the NZ TAB.
Trainer Brett McDonald said of the Whakanui Stud owned and bred mare, “She’s a very nice filly, she tries all the time and she actually deserves to get a little bit of black type. She can handle any type of going and doesn’t know when to stop trying.”
After surveying the situation throughout the programme and during his preliminary, rider Andrew Calder ascertained the track was playing evenly across its width and opted to utilize the ground near the rail. Calder described She Rules as “big, strong and she was in the right zone today. Brett (McDonald) had her fired up and ready.”
She Rules is a half-sister to Landlord (One Cool Cat), trained by Bart Cummings, both being from She’s Country, a former New Zealand Oaks winner in 2000.