Special by name, special by nature.
It’d be tough to argue that of Brad Widdup’s mare I Am Special, which Christian Reith piloted to a stirring, first-up, two-and-a-half length victory in the last of Racing Orange’s seven-race program on Monday night.
Jumping from barrier one at $3.10 odds in the 1000-metre John Davis Motors Class 2 Handicap, Reith settled the four-year-old on the rails and three lengths back, before edging to the lead at the top of the straight.
The mare battled with Gayna Williams’ Dollar Thief for the early stages of the straight, before hitting her stride and streaking away at the 250 mark.
Dollar Thief ($8) held on to finish second from Garry White’s And So It Goes ($5.50) in third, the latter was coming off back-to-back wins at the Orange track and ran a solid race again.
“We were going to give her another trial but I think this is a probably a good stepping stone for her in this preparation … I think it was a good move bringing her here by Brad,” Reith said.
I Am Special came into Monday’s race on the back of a 17-week spell and then an impressive fourth finish in a trial at Warwick Farm, in a field that included the likes of James Cummings’ Vellor and Peacock along with star grey Chautauqua.
“Her trial this time in was very good, very good, and if you can be travelling as well as the likes of Chautauqua and those guys in a trial I think you know you’re doing well,” Reith said.
For Reith, the win came after he piloted Sweet Bouquet ($3) to third in the Steeline Maiden Plate (1000m), where Bjorn Baker and Greg Ryan continued their stunning trainer-jockey combination with three-year-old Bel’s Boy, which won as a $2.30 favourite.