John Singleton arrived by helicopter, and his leading lady at the Canterbury meeting also made her own a grand entrance.
Woman, an exceedingly well-bred filly by superstar Frankel and out of eight-time Group One winner More Joyous, more than justified her owner’s flying visit as the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained three-year-old won convincingly on debut.
While Singleton was all smiles after Woman pulled clear to claim the TAB Rewards Handicap (1250m) by two lengths, Bott’s overriding emotion was relief.
“The nerves only kicked in just as they were about to jump,” Bott said.
“She makes it look very easy, she was very professional in everything she’s done to date.
“It’s so pleasing to see her do that, particularly for the team and Singo.
“We’ve had a long-range plan for the maiden so we’re delighted to be able to pull it off.”
Woman, the $1.65 favourite, kicked on the home turn under Kerrin McEvoy, to leave fellow debutant Laussel ($11) in her wake.
Union Dues ($15) was 1-1/4 lengths further back in third.
Given her pedigree and first-up performance, Bott was asked if the jump to black-type was possible during spring.
“The plan was to get this race out of the way first, we’ll see how she comes through it. We want to give her a light campaign this time in,” he said.
“We’re very mindful of what we want to achieve in the autumn.”
However, he did concede the Listed Reginald Allen Stakes (1400m) on Everest Day, October 14, did appeal.
“I think we saw she’s got so much scope to go on and there’s plenty of improvement there,” he said.
“The 1250 was important because she’s going to go a lot further. It’s a nice stepping stone for a race like the Reginald Allen if we go on in the carnival and get some nice black-type before we go out.”
Bott said he saw some comparisons between Woman and More Joyous, who amassed more than $4.5 million in prize money over her 33-race career.
“She’ was just a phenomenal racehorse and no doubt this filly will get there in time as well,” Bott said.
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