Coastal Babe and Le Major take out Sires' Stakes heats at Cambridge
By Michael Guerin
If you think impressive Cambridge winner Coastal Babe still looks like a work in progress you should have seen her four months ago.
The daughter of Downbytheseaside smashed some of the north’s best juvenile pacing fillies in her Dunstan Horsefeeds Sires’ Stakes heat on Thursday night, winning easily from a brave Ultimate Racy Girl and the favourite Kiss, who was three wide for the last lap.
But as good as the placegetters were Coastal Babe won too easily in the hands of Matty White to suggest it was a fluke, her first win coming at her second start.
She returned to scale still looking weakish with that telltale sign of a horse still maturing in that she looks like a filly running downhill.
But Reid, who is only training 12 horses these days, says she is heading in the right direction.
“Three or four months ago she really looked immature,” he says.
“She was a nice looking yearling but she didn’t grow much but now she is just starting to grow and I can see her maturing.
“But clearly it hasn’t stopped her running.”
Coastal Babe was purchased by Summit Bloodstock’s Jamie Durnberger-Smith at the Karaka sales, being out of a family Reid has had much success with in the past.
While a Sires’ Stakes win at Cambridge is a long, long way from what Summit Bloodstock and Aaron Bain Racing achieved as the winning slot holders in the Eureka last Saturday night, Coastal Babe gives the impression she hasn’t finished winning yet.
“She has the Caduceus Club Final in two weeks and then the Sires’ Stakes Final (Addington) so it will be great to have a good filly to take to Addington for Cup week.”
Reid is these days training under his own name as former training partner Simon McMullan has moved into a role with IRT.
“We didn’t have enough horses to make a living for two people but I have some nice two-year-old boys as well as this girl so there is some talent there to work with.”
Coastal Babe wasn’t the only eyecatcher in the Sires’ Stakes heats as local gelding Le Major swept to an easy win in the Woodlands Stud heat for the boys.
Good enough to win a maiden race last start, Le Major has a torrent of speed but is still maturing too, as evidenced by the spreader he wears.
Trained by Arna Donnelly he is owned by a big team of locals that include Cambridge club chief executive David Branch, who can now look forward to having a realistic chance in the final at Addington on Cup Day.
Le Major is out of Le Girl, who although she only won two races, is a daughter of the mighty filly Copper Beach so he has the breeding to go on with the job.
Other highlights on the night included rank outsider Bellatrix winning the opening trot for trainer-driver Adrienne Matthews while The Mighty Sully was a debut winner for Matty White.