Sweet Ride stars in Rosehill’s first hit
Annabel Neasham’s rise and rise continued at Rosehill on Saturday when she let her rivals know she would be racing the two-year-old races leading up to the Golden Slipper this fall.
It seemed like yesterday that Neasham saddled up his first winner at a Scone meeting in August 2020.
She has around 150 horses to train at the moment, but the quality of the winners, led by Zaaki, has been incredible during her short time as head trainer.
Sweet Ride was the last to win a major race by winning the two-year-old event in impressive fashion on Saturday.
The flashy colt did what all good juveniles do and dominated the race from start to finish to beat Northern Beaches by two lengths with stable mates Flashing Steel and Smart Vengeance in third and fourth.
Trainer Annabel Neasham has a cute two-year-old on her hands in Sweet Ride (Picture: Michael Klein)
Jockey Jean Van Overmeire said the feeling Sweet Ride gave him was incredible.
“It was obviously a great race,” he said.
“He jumped very well and took the lead. Took a little while to get him across and up to the rail, so I gave him a little squeeze, but he was just peeking.
“His turn of the foot was instantaneous and he supported it as well, which was nice to see.
“He will only mature and I feel like he has a very bright future ahead of him.”
Sweet Ride was the 234th winner for his father Deep Field but the first for his mother, How Sweet It Is.
A four-time winner herself, How Sweet It Is got off to a perfect start as a broodmare given that Sweet Ride is her first foal.
His second foal is a yearling colt by Divine Prophet, the mare bred last spring by the beloved trapeze artist from Vieira.
Although mostly bred along the speed lines, Sweet Ride has noticeable endurance in its composition.
Her granddam is by Zabeel and is a half-sister to four-time Group 1 winner Metal Bender.
Sweet Ride was quickly installed at $51 for the Golden Slipper after Saturday’s stinging victory.
Neasham stable rep Todd Pollard said it wasn’t a surprise to see Sweet Ride play a little in the yard before the race, which contributed to his starting price of $10.
“He’s got a bit of attitude and he’s a real two-year-old who we think would run really well,” Pollard said.
“He found the forward, did everything right and kept kicking, so it went well.
“He has a good attitude once he’s on the track. He’s a bit of a showboy before but it was good to see him do business today.
“He was the best shot of our three and he came in front and they couldn’t catch him.”
Sweet Ride wins the Davali Handicap in impressive fashion at Rosehill on Saturday (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)
Sweet Ride will have every chance to go as far as possible as the big two-year-old races approach in Sydney.
“We liked him in his trials, but we liked the other two too, so hopefully he continues now and has a chance in better races,” Pollard said.
“Flashing Steel was a great race and he’s a great horse in the making. He was probably against the track bias and was green on the outside, but he’s one to watch.
Neasham has been on the Gold Coast all week inspecting yearlings at the Magic Millions sales.
She has already trained more winners this season than last and her team will only get stronger as owners give her horses that are better bred and more expensive to groom.
“She’s signed up for about 20 so far (at Magic Millions sales) and there’s still some left tonight, so there’s quite a bit of ammunition for that time next year and we’re looking forward to it coming” , Pollard said.
Runner-up Northern Beaches, half-brother to Group 2 winner Aylmerton, received a high mark from jockey Josh Parr.
“I can’t praise his efforts enough,” Parr said.
“It was not at all a pleasant race to drive. He was raced slowly and he is an experienced horse and we are trying to teach him to do things well beyond his years.
“To his credit, he was able to show great turn-around and he showed great courage to keep going over the line, so that was a big boost from me.”