We Can Say It Now beats Blinding, and Lady Kipling in the Group I Levin Classic. www.raceimages.co.nz
After having her chances extinguished in the 1000 Guineas when slammed against the rail at a vital stage in the straight, We Can Say It Now (3 Ch. F. Starcraft – We Can’t Say That, by Generous) gained immediate recompense with an impressive win in the $200,000, Group I, Levin Classic (1600m) at Otaki on Friday.
As beautiful a filly as you would wish to see, We Can Say It Now is owned by Paul and Lyndall Makin (Paulyn Investments Pty Ltd), who own Arrowfield Stud stallion Starcraft (Soviet Star), and she is prepared for them by Murray and Bjorn Baker at Cambridge.
We Can Say It Now became the second progeny by Starcraft to win at the elite level, following group one wins by Star Witness in the Blue Diamond Stakes, and Coolmore Stud Stakes, while courtesy of Lion Tamer (Storming Home) the Baker stable recently celebrated group one glory in the Victoria Derby.
We Can Say It Now began cleanly to position seventh against the rail on a genuine pace, before rider Leith Innes decided to avoid similar happenings to her previous start and popped her off the fence at the 800m.
She cruised up on the home turn from six lengths back at the 600m and simply surged clear to win.
Reducing the margin on an emphatic victory to three-quarter-of-a-length, Blinding (Black Minnaloushe) unleashed a run fitting of her name to finish second, ahead of the second Baker-trained runner, Lady Kipling (Savabeel), who made up a stack of ground near the rail for third.
One-and-three-quarter-lengths separated second and third, with three-quarters to Queen Of Pop (Pins) in fourth, ahead of the pacemaker Hammer Down (O’Reilly), fifth.
The time for the mile reflected the high quality of the three-year-old horses racing on good footing, 1:34.27.
Somewhat more circumspect than the emotionally-charged Jazzercise display following the Flemington success with Lion Tamer, but still fired up by the victory, Bjorn Baker said, “She’s a super filly. We’ve rated her from day one. It was a super ride by Leith (Innes) and she had luck go her way today.”
It was an initiative by Bjorn Baker that brought about the connection with Paul Makin, when he presented the Starcraft man a cap bearing the inscription ‘Made in NZ Just Like Me’, while attending a Breeders Cup race meeting in the United States.
Baker said, “We’re very grateful to have the horses for Paul Makin. He’s a big owner, he’s stuck by us and it’s a great pleasure to train a lovely filly like this.”
Baker added, “Lady Kipling ran third and I’m just ecstatic for Lawrence Redshaw, he’s another big owner of ours. He’s very loyal and for her to get a group one placing it’s a magic result.”
Baker suggested We Can Say It Now may now be aimed at the $200,000, Group I, Captain Cook Stakes (WFA, 1600m) at Trentham on December 4.
Her three wins from six starts have earned $178,900.