Rangiora trainer Nick Wigley was holding his breath just moments before the start of Saturday’s two-year-old contest at Riccarton as smart filly Intimidate put on a petulant display behind the starting gates.
The Charm Spirit filly held up the start of the 1000m event before finally entering her stall under the urgings of the Riccarton barrier staff. Safely loaded away Intimidate then proceeded to give her race rivals a galloping lesson as she led all the way in the hands of rider Tina Comignaghi to register her first victory at just her second start.
Wigley admitted he was getting a little anxious as he watched the pre-race drama unfold.
“She can get a little toey at the best of times and when she started playing up it had me on edge a little,” Wigley said.
“Earlier on she was quite a calm filly but she suffered a pretty decent case of shin soreness after her first start back in October and since then she gets pretty fired up about things.
“She starts to shake and play up which she did going out onto the track on Saturday and then around at the start.
“Once she loaded away, she was fine and Tina said she stood there as good as gold so I think in the future we might get her loaded away first to try and alleviate any problems.”
Bred and raced under the Wigley family’s Inglewood Stud banner, Intimidate had been offered for sale as a yearling during the 2018 Karaka Book 1 Yearling Sale but returned home after not fetching a bid.
“We took her up to Karaka but no one wanted her so we brought her home again,” Wigley said.
“She has always showed us plenty of ability and we thought she would be a Welcome Stakes (Listed 1000m) contender back in the spring but after failing first up when she went shin sore, we put her away for a decent break to let her mature.
“She had won two trials leading into Saturday and after her last trial win on a slow track at the start of the month, Tina was confident she would handle the going on Saturday.
“She did it well in the end so she can have another break before we bring her back in the spring. I think a race like the Canterbury Belle Stakes (Listed, 1200m) in September would be a good target for her.”
Wigley also paid tribute to the staff at Inglewood Stud who have been instrumental in getting the filly back to her best after her spell.
“The girls at the stud have done a great job with her and have put in many hours to get her back in top shape,” he said.
“They deserve a lot of the credit and I’m sure they were feeling pretty chuffed after the result.”
Wigley announced that one of those staff, Kayla Milnes, would be entering into a training partnership with him in early July. – NZ Racing Desk