We Can Say It Now strides clear from Charma (2). Kenton Wright www.raceimages.co.nz
A fantastic looking filly, We Can Say It Now (3 Ch. F. Starcraft – We Can’t Say That, by Generous) showed she had ability to match her appearance when recording a dominant victory in the $45,000, Listed, James & Annie Sarten Memorial Stakes for three-year-olds over 1400-metres at Te Rapa on Labour Day Monday.
One of eleven fillies, and three geldings, to face the starter for the ensuing contest, We Can Say It Now presented as one of the most imposing specimens in the line-up.
Co-trainer Murray Baker said, “She’s a big filly that we think will stay well and we were going to take her to Melbourne for the Spring but I think she’s more an Autumn filly – a big filly that needs a bit of time.”
Buoyed by her appearance, punters then bet her into favouritism on the strength of a fresh-up fifth to Jimmy Choux (Thorn Park) in the Hawkes Bay Guineas at her previous start, having won on debut and finished second to Smoulder (Traditionally) in the listed Foal Stakes in her two juvenile starts.
“She’s a promising filly”, said Baker. “We’ve always rated her and she was a little bit unlucky at Hastings when she copped two bad checks. We’ll probably take her Christchurch where the big track will suit her. She’s a nice quiet horse, a lovely relaxed filly.”
Baker suggested We Can Say It Now will contest the $1million, Group I, 2000 Guineas at Riccarton Park Racecourse in Christchurch on November 6.
In the hands of Mark Du Plessis, We Can Say It Now went forward to settle in fourth position one off the fence, coming from fifth and four lengths off the pace at the 600m to challenge for the lead at the 250m without urging. Once Du Plessis asked her to extend she sprinted clear with big strides to win by one-and-three-quarter-lengths.
Off the trail with a strong run, Charma (Volksraad) consolidated his good juvenile form by finishing clearly in second, with one-and-three-quarter-lengths to Blinding (Black Minnaloushe) in third.
The slick time for the 1400m of 1:21.54 was a race record, taking over from the 1:22.15 record time set by Katie Lee (Pins) who won the corresponding event last year before going on to win both the 1000 and 2000 Guineas.
Du Plessis was suitably taken by his first ride aboard the talented filly when suggesting she has what it takes to emulate the historical feats of Katie Lee at Riccarton, in November last season.
Trained by Murray and Bjorn Baker at Cambridge, We Can Say That Now is bred and owned by Paul and Lyndall Makin (Paulyn Investments Pty Ltd), who own her sire Starcraft (Soviet Star).
Her dam We Can’t Say That showed a preference for yielding ground and won eight races up to 2500 metres in Australia, including four of five on heavy footing, while We Can Say It Now also gains credence from her grand-dam Courtalista (Pompeii Court), a smart juvenile that finished second in an AJC Oaks and won six times.
Baker said the reason for scratching from the Wellington Guineas last Saturday was attributed to the heavy going, “She’s needed good footing and she wouldn’t have gone in the ground there (Trentham).”