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Gardner's decision to retain filly a devine call (Wagga, Tuesday)

3 minute read

Devine Miss is building a record to match what she means to her owners as she attempts to extend her impressive career record in the Winter Sprint (1000m) at Wagga on Tuesday.

DEVINE MISS.
DEVINE MISS. Picture: Bradley Photos

The filly is raced by trainer Norm Gardner along with his wife Dianne, their three daughters Nicole, Michelle and Belinda and long-time owner Kelvin Burke.

Gardner bred Devine Miss and said because she was only small in stature it was difficult to syndicate her to potential clients.

The decision to race her himself has been vindicated with Devine Miss proving to be one of the most honest performers in country racing in only a brief racing career of seven starts.

She has already won three times, been second on as many occasions and third the other time.

"I kept her mainly for my daughters to race and she has been very consistent," he said.

"Her dam Madam Tilly is by I Am Invincible and won her first start before she was retired due to breathing problems.

"She could really gallop and Devine Miss is her first foal."

Despite a minimal racing career, Madam Tilly is already proving herself as she is also the dam of two-year-old Canberra debut winner Lethal Lady.

Gardner has raced many prolific winners during his almost 30-year-old training career, but few have started their racing in the same manner as Devine Miss.

The Canberra trainer could by the end of the season in July surpass his highest prize money earnings in a season.

The fact Devine Miss is heading in the right direction so early in her career and she is raced by members of his family means a lot to him.

"You breed horses hoping they turn out to be good and Devine Miss has started off well," he said.

"It's hard to find races for her because she has a Benchmark of 73 and is only a three-year-old filly.

"She is racing against open class and is back to 1000 metres when ideally I would have liked her to be running over 1200 metres."

Devine Miss, who will be ridden by Kayla Nisbet, produced a whirlwind finish to defeat Distillate at her latest start at Canberra on May 20.

She has had a trial since, which she won, and is ready for the open class test, according to her trainer.

"She is right to go, but the 1000 metres is my worry," he admitted.

"She showed last start how she likes to get back a bit, but she was never on the bit over the 1000 metres.

"Ideally I would like to run her in a Highway in Sydney."

Distillate has blistering speed and is likely to battle for the front spot with Seventh Seal and London Gal.

Waldo Waldorf is resuming from a spell and is also capable as is Cardiff who is first-up from a break for new trainer Joe Cleary.

Cardiff, who has won four of his 21 starts, last raced at Doomben on April 9 and is a three times metropolitan winner with his other success at Hawkesbury.

Seventh Seal will be at his peak following three starts back from a spell and has been right in the finish at his past two placings at Albury.

Forever Newyork, who has also won over $200,000, will also be better for recent racing and drops back down in the weights.

Nisbet will also ride Whenitrainsitpours who is one of the winning chances in the Class 2 (1300m).

The Canberra based jockey will shortly have a few months break from racing, but not before trying to win the Canberra jockeys' premiership and become the first female rider to do so.

Whenitrainsitpours ran well first-up from a break when third as did I've Bean Tryin' who closed off strongly to place at Canberra.

I've Bean Tryin' will be the first starter for his trainer Matthew Kelley.

Unique Prince is close to his first win this campaign after finishing third and fourth since resuming, while All Formidable, Beau Rock and Dupride Star are racing consistently.


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