Powdering Battles To First Win
Handicap debut can be very telling for a 3yo returning to action. It is always interesting to see if the handicapper has got it right, hampered them or maybe just left a bit of wiggle room. Powdering was always going to develop into a better 3yo and the filly returned to action at Hamilton to win the 1m 1/2f Cleanstay At Hampton By Hilton Bothwell Castle Fillies Handicap.
The daughter of Ribchester had shown promise as a juvenile, despite looking like she was far from the finished article. All 3 runs had come over 7f but it was clear that she would appreciate a bit further in time. Quick ground held up the fillies’ return to action but once there was a little ease then she headed north of the border.
Lining up against 5 rivals, the race was all about the odds on favourite who was looking for a four timer. After the fav the race was wide open with a big differential in handicap marks. Shane Gray took the ride and looked to press the issue from the off. On the inside of the favourite, Powdering moved through to lead as they swung right handed around the loop. Setting a nice gallop, she led the field into the home straight as the track runs away, downhill.
It was Powdering and the fav who held a couple of lengths advantage over their rivals and the race would be between the leading pair. As they moved past halfway and toward the 3f marker their rivals closed the gap but had to come under some pressure to do so. Shane had to get a little serious in the saddle around 2 1/2f from home as the favourite travelled smoothly on the outer. This looked to have the filly in trouble as she lost the lead.
As the fav cruised past the 2f marker, Powdering was starting to find her stride, responding to Shane. She was coming good underneath him and was maintaining her position alongside. Now the pair were neck and neck, with the fav also coming under a drive as they realised Powdering was far from beaten. The leaders were pulling each other along and they moved clear as they hit the rising ground inside the final furlong. It was a real tussle and neither rivals was giving an inch away. Powdering was proving very brave on the inner and she was thriving as the ground tested them. With 50 yards to run she had nudged her nose back to the lead and staying on well, Powdering downed the favourite by a short head.
It was a fabulous effort from Powdering who was very brave to win. She was headed and came back against a race fit rival who was full of confidence. Having had a long time between races, Powdering was alway entitled to com on for this run so to win was impressive. Proving to be strongest in the latter stages of the race, where the ground rises uphill, she will certainly get further in time and Powdering could really thrive throughout the season. The handicapper will reassess her now and this will dictate where she goes next but the 3yo is open to more improvement0.