By Chris Roots
The resume of Vangelic was littered with stakes placings before Saturday’s Golden Pendant, so much so that her owners were starting to wonder if her day would ever come.
The Vancouver filly won on debut and her next 12 starts were at stakes level, where she was never far away but never first.
A runner-up finish in the Percy Stakes was followed by thirds in the Tea Rose Stakes and Flight Stakes last year as three-year-old before a group 1 runner-up finish in the Surround Stakes and a luckless fourth in the Coolmore Classic and fifth in the Queen Of Turf in the autumn.
It was a quality resume yet disappointing at the same, but victory in the group 2 Golden Pendant erased that.
“The connections have been so patient with her. She was a consistent filly without winning. She was thoroughly deserving of that, so glad to see it,” co-trainer Adrian Bott said after Vangelic ($7) held tough to beat Nimalee ($8.50) and favourite Entriviere ($2.90).
Vangelic has always been able to make her own luck and, when she drew barrier one, Bott and Gai Waterhouse decided to lead and make the rest beat her. They had their chance but simply couldn’t.
“Her record probably should read a little bit better than the one win. Whether it has been bad luck in running or even wet tracks,” jockey Tim Clark explained. “She got a really good set-up today – dry track, was able to control and get things her own way, and she always improves with a run under her belt as well, so she was always going to come here and be hard to beat.
“She is not a big, strong mare but she has plenty of fight and showed plenty of heart there when she was challenged at the furlong.
“I was really proud of her. There are some nice races coming up for her, and I’m sure Gai and Adrian will be looking forward to getting her to them.”
Bott would like to get Vangelic a place in the inaugural The Invitation, which will be run for $2 million next month at Rosehill, a track where she has run some of her best races.
“We thought this would be the nice race second-up where she could improve and try to win, and we thought today was crucial in getting that invitation,” he said.
“Even though her record has been consistent, we needed a win like that today to state our case, and hopefully she has done that for us.”
While Vangelic liked the firm footing, James McDonald said it didn’t help Entriviere, which was allowed to run even though she was found to be in season on arriving at the track.
“She would have been happier with the sting out of the track,” McDonald said.
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