Phoenix Ladies Syndicate are off the mark for 2021 thanks to a stunning, if not imperfect, performance from Always In Moment at Pakenham on Thursday, March 18.
The daughter of No Nay Never had plenty of excuses for a below-par effort on her debut but put all that behind her with a comfortable victory under Damian Lane. Her three-length success hinted she might have some star quality despite displaying signs of inexperience throughout.
Breaking well from the gates under Damian Lane, the Mick Kent trainee found a lovely position just off the rail in third place. If that sounds like all went to plan, that was not the case! The close analysis showed Lane wrestling a little with the three-year-old to prevent her racing with over-enthusiasm. Winning that battle, the pair got a nice tow into the race as the field turned for home. A big gap opened up and Always In Moment willing went through to lead, looking all over the winner. However, faced with the wide-open expanse of the Pakenham straight, she got a little lost and wandered around in front. Correcting that Lane was still able to ease his mount down for a very taking win.
The result seems to come as much as a relief to her trainer as a cause for celebration with Kent joking to Racing.com:
“I’ve always had a bit of time for her and it was good to prove what I’ve been telling the owners that she’s no duffer!”
“She’s a free-flowing filly and they went a bit steady. She got a bit keen mid-race and the further she goes, the better she goes. It was good to see her hit the line like that.
“She’s not instant in the finish, but she keeps building. She’s got a nice big action on her and this was the right track to bring her to. I’m sure she’ll go up in grade as she goes up in distance.”
Jockey Damian Lane seemed equally taken with the filly adding:
“Mick likes her and she obviously pulled-up with a side issue the first time out, but she’s come back a nice horse this time in and she was good tonight.
“She sprinted well, floated a little once in front, but she’s a green horse that is only going to improve.”
The victory completed a good night for the trainer and jockey combo, with the pair teaming up for two winners from two runners.