The successful Graeme Bate-Paul Wheeler combination continued its amazing run in 2011, capturing the quinella in the Group 1 Hudson Pacific Maturity Classic over 525 metres at The Meadows on Saturday night.
The highly-fancied Shereen Bale ($3.20) used her wide draw perfectly, displaying sizzling speed to round up early leaders Rewind and Mepunga Nicky in the run into the back straight, eventually stopping the clock at a Best of Night 29.75 to claim her first Group success.
The news only got better for Bate and Wheeler as the fast-finishing Stefan Bale ($15.40) strode into second spot, one and a half lengths away from the winner.
Early leader Rewind ($8.40) was a further six and a quarter lengths away in third, while favourite Kilty Lad ($1.80) found interference throughout the run and finished fourth.
Handler Joe Briffa paid credit to Lara trainer Graeme Bate, who is enjoying one of his most successful years in what has been an amazing training career to date.
“It has been an unbelievable year for Graeme. The amount of winners in 2011 has been sensational.
Shereen Bale hurt her hock after a run at The Gardens (in January), but it looks as if she has come back better than ever, which is a credit to Graeme.”
“Once Shereen Bale found the bunny, it was all over. We were very confident going into the race because the draw was going to give her the room she needs early to really accelerate.”
In winning the Group 1 Hudson Pacific Maturity Classic, Shereen Bale won $75,000 – the highest purse in the race’s 41-year history, improving her record to 14 wins from 36 starts.
The Bate and Wheeler combination also took home $22,000 for Stefan Bale’s performance in second.