It’s Me wins the Kosciuszko; trainer Brett Cavanough eyeing the Golden Eagle

Brett Cavanough knew It’s Me would win the $1.3 million Kosciuszko with even luck in running and a faultless week heading into the race but neither happened.

The Scone trainer didn’t want to run his emerging star after a scope found mucus in her trachea 48 hours before the race but the Racing NSW vets passed her fit and she took over from there.

Not that she had it easy in the run.

After jumping fairly the $2 favourite got back worse than midfield and wasn’t given any room by Sam Clipperton on Intuition.

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It’s Me stormed home to win The Kosciuszko. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Jason Collett was trying to find a run in the straight and after getting knocked around a little and becoming unbalanced she got into her work and mowed down Redouble who got a dream run up the rail.

She only got him in the final two strides but would have won by many lengths with even luck.

Cavanough was fighting back tears after the race after a very stressful three days.

It's Me!! She remains unbeaten in a heart stopping victory. Gun ride from Jason Collett for @cavanoughracing pic.twitter.com/ih2h18Heiu

“Obviously she’s a very good mare. Are you allowed to cry?” Cavanough said.

Privately he thought she’d just win the race with ease before the setback which put plenty of doubt in his mind.

And he was worried in the run.

“When he went into traffic, into a black hole on her I thought ‘well, we’re in some trouble here’. But gee whiz he did a bit of campdrafting to get out and he got the job done,” Cavanough said.

“On race day she just finds six or eight lengths, she’s just amazing. You see what she did today, she was in trouble, knocked them down, got down, balanced up and got the job done.

“I thought one of those old horses would come to the fore today. It was Mitchell Beer’s horse (Redouble). He was a tough old horse first up, good form and she still got the job done to beat him.”

The punter that had $48,000 on her to win at $2.10 wouldn’t have wanted to look at the 300m when she was in trouble but Collett found her some clear running room.

Jason Collett timed his run to perfection on It’s Me. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

He said she was heading towards Group 1 racing and considering what she’s done in four starts, it’s hard to doubt that.

“She’s the best horse,” Collett said. “She hit a few little obstacles into the straight. I just had to be patient and once I got her into clear air, I didn’t quite see Redouble scooting up on the inside and I just had to ask a bit more of her.

“But it was a far bigger test today, she passed with flying colours.”

It’s Me firmed in from $26 to $15 for the $7.5 million Golden Eagle (1500m) in a fortnight at Rosehill.

“She’s only had four starts, she just beat some open grade sprinters. She’s very smart,” Collett said. “I can’t quite tell you how high she’ll get to but the way she’s going I would like to say Group 1.”

It's me gets there in the last bound. Hear from Brett Cavanough [email protected] pic.twitter.com/q6gaWiNwbp

AT THE TRACK

CUMMINGS IN FOR THE LONG HAUL

Being the head trainer at Godolphin is a huge job and must be extremely taxing on the mind and body but the fact James Cummings is only in his 30s might mean he’s in the gig for a long time to come. We asked him at Osborne Park during the week if he thought about his long-term future at the powerhouse operation. “If you look around here, you’d imagine it would be pretty nice to picture yourself in 25 or 30 years and still enjoy it as much as I’m enjoying it right now,” he said. Cummings also said he’s very much settled in the job now which should yield even better results in the coming seasons. “It’s really good. I know the staff better and we’re in the right rhythm together,” he said. “They know the way I like to train my horses and we’ve got a very established management group and we’re making very consistent decisions together. Even deeper than that, I’m growing to know the families of these horses better. Their pedigrees are coming to the surface and they’re responding the way we’re preparing them.” Bivouac’s second in the Everest was the third year in a row the stable has ran a placing in the big race.

James Cummings watches over his team at Agnes Banks. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

KING GRILLED

Stewards asked Rachel King about her ride on tearaway leader Eduardo in The Everest. “He’s a very fast horse and he did pull pretty hard the whole way,” King said. “If he could have come back an extra two lengths I would’ve liked that. I was neutral out of barriers. I wasn’t trying to dig my horse out to get across quickly.” Chief steward Marc Van Gestel said: “So you say you were trying your best to slow him down.” King said she was doing her best. “I had a good hold of him. I was probably going to be in front of Nature Strip but I wasn’t trying to go too fast. At no stage did I try and push the horse,” she said.

EAGLE-EYED TRAINER

Brett Cavanough is almost certain to have a throw at the stumps with It’s Me and put her in the $7.5 million Golden Eagle (1500m) at Rosehill in a fortnight. This is what he said before the Kosciuszko during the week. “She’s a four-year-old so what happens on Saturday will determine that”. She firmed in from $26 to $15 for the big race and she looks every bit like a 1500m type. Tye Angland was on hand to congratulate Jason Collett after his winning ride on the mare on Saturday.

Jason Collett catches up with Tye Angland after It’s Me’s win in the Kosciuszko. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

FLOP EXPLAINED

Ice In Vancouver had a genuine excuse for his 65-length last in the Kosciuszko after he pulled up with cardiac arrhythmia for trainer Cody Morgan and jockey Greg Ryan. “He was racing like a drunken sailor. I wasn’t comfortable from the start,” Ryan said.

*****

Mark Schmetzer trained Saturday’s Highway winner Ai Marshal, but what he’s more noted for in 2004 was being the person who first trialled eventual world conquering sprinter Takeover Target.

POOR FORM

Kalashnikov hasn’t quite lived up to expectations so far and the two-year-old might need a break after running seventh at Randwick. Jockey James McDonald said he was gone a long way out. “He was playing with his tongue over the bit going to the start. He never felt like a winner at all from the 600m onwards. He wasn’t travelling like a kind horse who was building into it,” McDonald said.

*****

Captivant was inserted as a $17 hope for the Golden Slipper after winning the Victory Vein Stakes on debut at Randwick but why wasn’t he already in the market? Not good enough.

CLOSE CALL

There’s a pitch-and-putt golf course inside the track at Ellerslie in New Zealand and one player went to retrieve a ball not realising the Great Northern Steeplechase was being run. He wasn’t hurt but the jockeys were stunned with what they saw. Picture: Kenton Wright.

The moment a guy playing golf (there is a pitch and putt course inside the track at Ellerslie) realised he was standing in the path of the Great Northern Steeplechase field today. Nobody hurt in this bizarre incident but some stunned jockeys. Pic: Kenton Wright pic.twitter.com/LVLxMMQpWA

HORSES TO FOLLOW: Classique Legend (Yes Yes Yes Stakes), It’s Me (Golden Eagle) Akihiro (aimed at Magic Millions)

ONES TO SACK: Matowi (disappointing again), Nature Strip (not the same horse)

RIDE OF THE DAY: Jason Collett on It’s Me (did it hard but got it done)

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I’ve been telling you for three months, how much start do you want? Said Les Bridge after Classique Legend’s win.

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Originally published as‘She’s just amazing’: It’s Me hits new heights

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