Talented mare November Rain (3 B. F. Stravinsky – Lady Teruko, by Kris S) is set to give her equally capable trainer Richard Collett his first group one success, after she scorched home to win the $85,000, Group II, Cal Isuzu Stakes over 1600-metres at Te Rapa racecourse on Saturday.
Owned by Matt Goodson and his wife Dianna Perron, November Rain had taken Collett and the connections close to the ultimate success when beaten a short-head by Keep The Peace (Keeper) in the New Zealand Oaks, and followed with a one-and-a-half-length second to Time Keeper (Stravinsky) in the Easter Handicap, both group one.
The $200,000, Group I, Zabeel Classic (2000m), under weight-for-age conditions, at Ellerslie on Boxing Day is her opportunity to break through.
While both race rival Red Ruler (Viking Ruler) and November Rain would appear likely to derive improvement from their respective wins, along with the winner of the event last year Vosne Romanee (Electronic Zone), a 2.5-kilogram weight advantage and luck in the running should allow the mare to prove very competitive.
November Rain impressed when winning at Pukekohe over 1400-metres on December 16 last year and Collett suggested that now Christmas and New Year racing is looming she is likely to strike her best form once again.
Collett said, “I tried her in the 1000 Guineas last year but she didn’t come up”, suggesting the race run in November was too early in the season for her.
With son Jason Collett in the saddle for the first time, November Rain cleared the gates in good fashion and was able to track the favourite Obsession (Bachelor Duke) into contention from the 800m, before storming home down the outside to win by three-quarters-of-a-length.
“She’s a far better filly in the open”, said Collett
After travelling sweetly at the head of the field, Eileen Dubh (Storm Creek), herself a group one winner, fought hard for second for rider Chad Ormsby and Woodville trainer Francis Finnegan, while Sharp Princess (Pins) finished a half-head away in third for Tasha Collett and Marton trainer Fraser Auret.
Obsession was close up in fourth.
Bred by Joan Egan, November Rain was a $170,000 purchase at the 2008 New Zealand Bloodstock Yearling Sales, from the draft of Trelawney Stud.
Introduced to racing by his grandmother from the age of eight, Goodson was aware of the strength on the dam-side of her pedigree from his time spent keeping an eye on racing while working as a fund manager in New York.
One of the first dates for the couple was attending a Breeders' Cup meeting.
Goodson said her grand-dam Lady Reiko (Sadler’s Wells) was a high-priced yearling who won seven times in America.
Possessing a wicked turn of foot when given a trip and race run to suit, November Rain could greatly enhance her value in the very near future.