Probabeel Defeats Zaaki – 4th Australian Group 1
9 Oct 2021
Presented looking a picture, W. S. Cox Plate (Gr. 1, 2040m) bound Probabeel (5 m Savabeel – Far Fetched, by Pins) kept intact an unbeaten course record when winning the $1m Neds Might And Power (Gr. 1, 2000m) on Saturday at Caulfield, Melbourne.
After winning the Weekend Hustler Stakes (Listed, 1400m) aboard stable-mate Kahma Lass (Darci Brahma) earlier on the programme, in the same colours, Brett Prebble was quite brilliant in his decision making to score by a nose.
The pride and joy of Cambridge Stud owners Brendan Lindsay MNZM & Jo Lindsay, Probabeel recorded her fourth Group 1 on Australian soil, and her second, in a four out of four course record, at Caulfield.
After resuming with victory in the W.W. Cockram Stakes (Gr. 3, 1200m) on 28 August, and close fifth in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (Gr. 1, 1400m) on 18 September, both at Caulfield, Probabeel produced a great run for second to Zaaki (Leroidesanimaux) in the Underwood Stakes (Gr. 1, 1800m), a fortnight ago, at Sandown.
With Zaaki again as a rival and backed off the charts, it was expected Probabeel would play second fiddle, but the pre-post Cox Plate favourite faltered on good ground to finish third.
It was a huge, huge, win by one of the best mares in Australasia, and the manner of victory in itself gave rise to her stocks in the upcoming and infamous Cox Plate.
“They went a nice enough clip and then Homesman put the pressure on from the 650m,” Prebble said.
“I was left a bit flat-footed and she didn’t really like the position I was in, but we were dealt (barrier) one so we had to deal with it. It was a negative against the fave today on a firm track, and I was right.
“She’s all guts. I was out the last 100m. She was out and had nothing left, and every time I kept lifting she couldn’t. But, she kept trying her heart out and it was great. She’s all guts and determination.
“I’ve had a good season, but I’m more interested in the quality of horses I’m riding and the job the trainers are doing for me.
“I’m really fortunate to get two really nice winners today for Jamie (Richards). It took a bit of push to get me on the horses. Damian Lane was doing a perfectly good job for him, but the owners batted for me to ride Probabeel heading into the Cox Plate and opted to go for a jockey that could stay on her. So, that’s how I’ve ended up with these nice rides.”
On footing upgraded to Good3, Probabeel ran the 2000 metres in 2:01.5, returned $5.30 & $1.80 on the NZ TAB tote, and provided Richards with his sixth Group 1 in Australia, among 15 stakes’ victories.
“It was a fantastic win and she’s a warrior that never knows when to quit,” Richards said. “We’re all very pleased with the way she performed, and a massive thank you to Ashley (Handley), who has done such a wonderful job over there with our horses.
“To take two horses to the races, during their Spring Carnival, and come away with two wins is true testament to the way she’s looking after them.
“Probabeel was just so brave. It’s probably not her real racing style, poking up the fence like that, but she was in for the fight and really gave it one-hundred percent.
“So, very proud of her and thanks to Brendan, Jo and Henry, and David fir buying the horse.
The $5m W. S. Cox Plate (Gr. 1, 2040m) is scheduled for Saturday 23 October at Moonee Valley.
Purchased by Te Akau principal David Ellis CNZM for $380,000, from the draft of Waikato Stud, at the 2018 Karaka Book 1 Sale, Probabeel, an historical winner of both the $1m Karaka Million 2YO (Restricted Listed, 1200m) and $1m Karaka Million 3YO Classic (Restricted Listed, 1600m), has won 12 of her 27 starts, including eight seconds, and topped NZ$4 million prize money.
“It was an absolutely incredible race, shows what a great mare she is and typifies the sorts of horses we are trying to buy at Te Akau,” Ellis said.
“We’re always trying to buy types that have the scope to train on and race as older horses. Probabeel had the sheer class to win a Karaka Million, when far from physically mature as a two-year-old, but as she’s developed and strengthened she’s gone on at three, four, and now as a five-year-old.
“Jamie (Richards) and Ashley (Handley) have been spot on with this mare throughout the campaign and she just looked super relaxed when parading today.
“It was a tough race and not easy to judge as a jockey, but Brett (Prebble) summed it up like the international jockey that he is.
“Cambridge Stud has been such a tremendous supporter of Te Akau. Brendan & Jo, and their amazing CEO Henry Plumptre, allow us the freedom to train them as we like and it’s such a thrill to have their colours win two stakes’ races on the same day at Caulfield. It’s such a competitive stage, and I don’t think people realise just how hard it is to achieve.
“Probabeel’s proved she’s up to the best in this part of the world, and she just needs a decent track in the Cox Plate. Everything has to pan out on the day, including the weather and track conditions.
“But, in the meantime, we’ll celebrate the success at Te Akau Stud, because we can’t go anywhere else due to our lockdown alert level 3.”
Probabeel was strapped by Ashley Handley.