Trainer Ben Foote was looking forward to taking his frustrations out on a small white ball just 24 hours after going within a whisker of collecting a Group One victory at Te Rapa on New Year’s Day.
The popular Cambridge horseman and a few mates were heading to the local golf course on Monday for some relaxation after Foote saw his stable star Babylon Berlin beaten a nose by the Mark Walker-trained Imperatriz in the Group 1 Sistema Railway (1200m) on Sunday.
Foote was quietly confident going into the race and with 200m to run thought he had his rivals beaten before Opie Bosson and Imperatriz swooped late to snatch victory in a thrilling finish.
“I’ve never been so excited and so disappointed at the same time as I was yesterday,” Foote said.
“I was sitting in the grandstand with my son and when they hit the line, we both knew we had been beaten and it is such a gutting feeling to have.
“I don’t think Kozzi (Asano) could have ridden her any better, maybe it is just that Opie Bosson has some sort of supernatural gift when it comes to these Group One races.”
Foote will now turn his attention to having the mare ready to tackle the tough 1200m trip of the Group 1 Telegraph (1200m) at Trentham in a fortnight before deciding with connections about her autumn targets.
“She ate everything we put in front of her last night and it was as though she had just had a track gallop,” he said.
“I will sit down with her owners and discuss plans for her, but at this stage we will be going to the Telegraph next.
“After that I would like to take her to Melbourne in the autumn, as we didn’t see the best of her in Brisbane when we took her there during the winter and I’d like to head back across to Australia and show them how good she really is.”
One thing in Foote’s favour if he does take Babylon Berlin to Trentham for the Telegraph is that he is unlikely to face Imperatriz in a rematch after Te Akau Racing declared that the now three-time Group One winner would not contest the race.
Foote also has future Trentham aspirations with promising three-year-old filly Sakura Girl, who overcame a chequered path to finish fifth in the Group 2 Royal Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa and holds a nomination for the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) that will be run on March 18.
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