Sport

Miss Imagica retains her title of Clifford Park track queen

Skye Bogenhuber celebrates her win aboard Miss Imagica at Clifford Park last night.
Skye Bogenhuber celebrates her win aboard Miss Imagica at Clifford Park last night. Nev Madsen

THE extraordinary Clifford Park powers of Toowoomba mare Miss Imagica were again on show when she swept to her fourth successive home-track feature win on Saturday.

Miss Imagica ($3.80) added to her Listed Weetwood Handicap last March with a dominant display in the $80,000 Mainz Developments Fillies and Mares Quality Handicap (1200m).

It was the Hidden Dragon mare's third successive victory in the annual feature and her eighth win from 10 starts on the Clifford Park Cushion Track.

Miss Imagica was driven hard early from an outside barrier by Skye Bogenhuber to cross and lead the 10-horse field before exploding away on the point of the home turn to set up her 3¼-length victory.

Toowoomba four-year-old Bradbury Chocolate ($4.20) chased gamely in the home straight for second while Brisbane visitor, and $2.25 race favourite Dream'n'ignite, finished 2¾ lengths away third racing prominently throughout.

The winning time of 1:12.89 broke Miss Imagica's own class record set in last season's race.

Miss Imagica's win completed a good training performance from Michael Nolan who will now prepare the five-year-old for her swansong race-track appearance in April's Weetwood Handicap.

She had only one race start under her belt since last September going into Saturday's event.

But Nolan did admit to having some pre-race weight doubts about Miss Imagica.

"I had huge doubts," Nolan admitted.

"I didn't know whether she could give smart horses like Bradbury Chocolate 5kg and win but she just brained them.

"It is amazing what she is able to do on this track.

"We'll freshen her now for the Weetwood and try to do again what we did last year.

"She'll be retired then and go to the breeding barn."

Miss Imagica's victory added a first to the growing career of Bogenhuber.

"It was a massive effort from her," the reigning Clifford Park premier rider said.

"It's also my first quality win and a real thrill.

"I've been doing a fair bit of work for Michael and he's really rewarded me with this win tonight."

* Toowoomba six-year-old Zeditave Plus added to his high winning strike rate for trainer Paul Facoory when he conjured up a heart-stopping victory in yesterday's XXXX Gold Benchmark 75 Handicap (1300m).

Zeditave Plus ($1.90 fav) followed his previous Doomben Class 5 win with a tough display to down game topweight Bahsa ($2.50).

Under desperate riding from Bogenhuber, Zeditave Plus chased Bahsa for the length of the home straight before arriving in the final bounds to score by a half length.

Fear No Other ($7) finished 2¼ lengths back third after racing between Bahsa and the winner until the home turn.

Yesterday's win was Zeditave Plus's sixth from 14 starts since joining and Facoory's yard and followed the six-year-old's previous Doomben Class 5 (1350m) victory."

That was big run by Tony's horse with 59kg. I thought he was going to hang on and beat us for sure," Facoory said about the effort of the Tony Sears-trained Bahsa.

"But is was a good hard win by our bloke.

"He's a tough horse who whacks away and doesn't lie down."
 

Topics:  clifford park, miss imagica, racing



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