Double triumph makes it special Mother’s Gift
THERE is no debate about whether there was something special about Priscilla Schmidt's Grafton Cup Day.
Schmidt finished her engagements with a memorable double, with wins in both the Sky Racing World Mother's Gift Benchmark 70 HCP (1400m) and the earlier Central Coast Coolrooms Benchmark 60 HCP (1000m).
"Oh yeah, I'm definitely happy," Schmidt said.
"I moved back to Port not long ago and it's great to have the support I've had."
Schmidt repaid the support from Port-Macquarie trainer Jenny Graham in spades yesterday by saluting on Poetic Debate in the Mother's Gift.
Poetic Debate ($12) had to overcome the consistently strong Magna Amica ($4.20) and the fast-finishing De Crillon ($8) to pass the post first.
Schmidt did not have any doubt the three-year-old filly would pull through.
"She was good," Schmidt said. "She's been travelling strongly and kicked again at the 200m to get there.
"She's back to her best."
Graham was overjoyed.
"Definitely, she's a really good filly but we just needed a bit of luck," Graham said.
While Poetic Debate enjoyed her first win since the November 8 meet at Kempsey last year, Slainte backed up her Westlawn Prelude Day win to make it two on the trot.
Slainte won the Central Coast Coolrooms Benchmark 60 HCP, with Schmidt keeping Lifesaver Lady at bay to record a win for Tamworth-based Leon Davies.
The four-year-old mare lined up for its third start for Davies and recorded its first win at the distance in its fifth attempt.
"I rode her out at Gunnedah and we knew a win wouldn't be too far off," Schmidt said.
"She'd only had the three runs for Leon beforehand."
Though she looked to be tiring, trainer Davies said he never had any doubt in Slainte's ability to hold on.
"It was a big ask for today but she came through well," Davies said.
"I knew she would hold on at the end. She's regularly run over the 1100m so I knew she would have enough.
"We went up 3.5kg from her last start, she was the only three-year-old filly in the field and she had a very wide barrier.
"What else can you say?"