THIRTY-ONE-YEAR-OLD Victorian trainer Braden Finn says his champion stayer Sweet It Is, is “slowly getting back to her best”, which she proved on Saturday night in a heat of the Group 3 Gold Cup at Wentworth Park.
The three-time Group One winner, currently $3.50 with William Hill, was beaten just two-and-one-quarter-lengths by fellow Group 1 winner Space Star in a sizzling time of 41.71. After a slow getaway from box eight, the daughter of Mogambo and Off Springer checked off the heels of another runner at the first turn and gave Space Star a twelve-length head star heading into the back straight. Weaving her way through the field, the 29kg chaser was simply brilliant, yet Finn is remaining modest about her chances this week.
“She will need a lot of luck to beat Space Star because he’s going so well at the moment and I just hope she can get a clear run,” Finn said.
Sweet It Is hasn’t won a race since November last year, however will contest her 13th group race on Saturday and if successful, will take her prize money earnings to a staggering $647,265.
“After her season she’s had some competitive racing and is getting close to her best weight.”
“Her season caused her to be a bit heavier than usual during her first couple of preparation runs so hopefully that’s stabilised now.”
“She’s approaching three-and-a-half, so hopefully she still has some good racing left in her.”
This talented stayer made her racing debut back in April of 2013 and surprisingly took four starts to crack her maiden victory in a 600-metre event at The Meadows. It took another ten starts to notch up her second win and first victory over the 715-metre distance at Sandown Park, recording a time of 42.28.
Sweet It Is contested her first feature event in March 2014, where she finished fourth in the Group 1 Superstayers Final at The Meadows. A month later after finishing third in the Group 3 Lizrene at Sandown Park, she finally cracked her first Group 1 win, blowing her rivals away in the Sandown Cup final over 715-metres.
A trip to Western Australia was on the cards in August and she didn’t disappoint connections, winning the National Distance Championship over Australia’s highest-ever prize money earned Xylia Allen. Clocking a time of 41.39 over 715-metres, this pocket rocket produced another traditional come from behind performance and stamped her authority as one of the country’s most outstanding stayers.
Finn’s chaser made a successful return to Wentworth Park in October, claiming the Group 3 Sydney Cup final with another stunning victory and clocked a sensational time of 41.84. Perhaps Sweet It Is’ biggest win to date came a month later at Sandown Park in the Group 1 Bold Trease final, defeating rival stayer Space Star by 5.6 lengths, clocking 41.56.
Her career statistics to date read 16 wins from 54 starts and 29 minor placings, with an astounding prizemoney average of $38,891.56 per win and $11,523.43 per start.
Sweet It Is will jump from box six in the Group 3 Gold Cup final at Wentworth Park this weekend with her biggest rival, Space Star, $1.70 with William Hill, drawn in box four.
Regardless of the outcome on Saturday night, Sweet It Is has well and truly left her mark on the industry, with exciting times ahead for trainer Braden Finn both on and off the race track.