SUNDAY: March 17, 2019: LIGHTLY-RACED Hawkesbury mare Meditate’s impressive Bathurst victory today has earned her a shot at provincial grade with a future city assignment in the offing.
Trainer Richard Nutman has done an excellent job nurturing the So You Think four-year-old and feels it is time to put her unbeaten record on the line in stronger company.
A debut winner at Orange on November 23, Meditate returned to the track at Bathurst and thrashed her rivals in the Gold Circle Cup (an 1100m Class 1 Handicap) at the Showcase meeting.
A $2.50 favorite with Chad Lever aboard, she trailed the two leaders Shesabitfoolish ($16) and Sahara Emaar ($8), then took full advantage when they drifted away from the inside on straightening.
Meditate burst through and quickly put the issue beyond doubt, clearing out to score by nearly four and a half lengths.
It was Lever’s third winner – he had won earlier on Superium ($2.35) for Warwick Farm trainer Joe Pride and I Am Magnificent ($4) for Bathurst’s Dean Mirfin – from the first five races.
After Meditate scored on debut, Nutman had intended to give the mare a break to allow her to strengthen.
But he wisely changed his mind because of the hot weather and spelled her for only a couple of weeks.
“I’ve just taken her along steadily, and she has built up really well,” Nutman said after returning home from Bathurst.
“She has been coping with her work, and I’m sure there is more improvement in her. She slipped on the corner and then got a bit lost in the closing stages, only because of inexperience.
“It’s time to step her up to provincial company. There is a Class 2 Handicap (1200m) at Gosford in a couple of weeks (April 4).
“Provided she handles that, then we’ll look at a midweeker in town. Being a very well-bred mare, further success would boost her value.”
Nutman had trialled Meditate once – she finished a close third to subsequent first-up winner Ragazze and the inaugural Spring Provincial Championship winner Bobbing over 1000m at Hawkesbury on February 26 – in preparation for her resumption.
Meditate’s sire is the international star So You Think (whose wins included dual Cox Plates, 2009-10) and her dam is Redoute’s Choice mare Porcelain, who was retired after only one start in 2010.
Meditate’s granddam Peruzzi (by Zabeel) won seven of her 14 starts, including Group 2 and 3 victories at Royal Randwick.
Nutman’s cousins Wayne and Pauline Alchin bred Meditate at their Carramar Park Stud in the Grose Valley, and asked him about putting together a syndicate and training her after not offering her for sale as a yearling.
Along with the Alchins, Meditate is raced by Nutman’s wife Bernadette and daughter Claire (former jockey) and friends Paul and Kate Beeston and Chris and Sarah Madden.
Claire Nutman and winning rider Chad Lever are engaged and will be married in June.
. Meditate’s victory rekindled happy memories of the track for Nutman, who won the Bathurst Cup in the late 1980s with Regal Hussy.
He currently has six horses – Meditate, Touch Of Purple and Kathaire and three unraced youngsters – in work; the most he has had in some time.