Lloyd Kennewell scores his first G1

Dec 05, 2017

Any trainer that knows their horse has a race in hand will tell you the closing moments are among the best they will experience.

But it is rare the feeling arrives in a prestigious race, let alone a sought-after Group 1.

And when that moment comes for a trainer seeking their first Group 1 win, as it did for Lloyd Kennewell with star sprinter Viddora in Perth today, the feeling is almost indescribable.

“It is the best feeling in the world today,” he said.

A high-class mare, Viddora delivered in style in The Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot today when bursting clear midway down the straight to win with ease.

Placed at Group 1 level twice before, the Adelaide mare travelled beautifully midfield for jockey Joe Bowditch.

Positioned inside race favourite State Solicitor as local mare Caiparinha led into the straight in the $1 million sprint over 1200m, Bowditch was able to push into space as horses tired around Viddora.

Now a winner of seven from 22 starts, the daughter of I Am Invincible from Snow Flight bounded clear to win by just over a length from Victorian mare Fuhryk.

Local sprinter Durendal was close up on third.

State Solicitor did not appear to travel well and finished eighth.

Viddora raced extremely well through the Spring in Melbourne, but did not enjoy the best fortune.

She was beaten a short half-head in the Group 1 Moir Stakes by She Will Reign and then had little luck behind Hey Doc when fourth in the Manikato Stakes.

“She is a really good mare,” Kennewell said.

“She has been through the ringer and come out the other side.”

It is Bowditch’s second Group 1 victory as a jockey but he described the triumph as particularly special given his relationship with Kennewell, who is a close mate.

“I was always confident,” he said.

“As soon as I got to the outside, it was all over.”

Understandably given what the triumph means for Kennelwell’s career, Viddora returned to jubilant scenes in the Ascot mounting yard.

“It was just a matter of time but hopefully that can be the leg up I needed,” he said.

It was vindication for Bowditch, who copped some criticism on social media when Viddora has little luck at Moonee Valley.

Fuhryk, who is trained by David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig, missed the start for champion jockey Damien Oliver.

But the four-year-old finished strongly when ridden for luck on the fence to edge Durendal, pleasing the Victorian camp.

Dabernig said Fuhryk had come a long way for a horse who won their maiden at Wodonga.

“We are not disappointed,” he said.

Bought for $40,000 from the Adelaide Magic Millions sale, Viddora will have the briefest or freshen ups.

Kennewell is targeting a race at the Magic Millions carnival on the Gold Coast early in 2018.

Article credit to The Australian Newspaper