Even bigger targets ahead after In Secret blitzes G1 Newmarket field
In Secret will be given her chance against the best sprinters in Australia at weight-for-age next month and possibly against the elite during the Sydney spring carnival after her devastating victory in the G1 Newmarket Handicap at Flemington in Melbourne on Saturday.
The Godolphin-trained filly gave age and experience to most of her Newmarket rivals but, like she did down the straight 1,200m course in the G1 Coolmore Stud Stakes last October, In Secret displayed a blinding turn of foot in the final 300m to win clearly from Lofty Strike and I Wish I Win.
And she did it running a sizzling 1 minute 8.24 seconds carrying a replacement jockey who had never been on her back until just before the race.
Trainer James Cummings was forced to call on lightweight rider Dean Holland after a fall earlier in the day put Jamie Kah and also Craig Williams in hospital, both horses returned to the stalls okay, Kah was concussed and Williams sustained an injury to his collar bone.
Holland had never ridden for Godolphin but followed instructions to the letter and was rewarded with a rare G1-winning ride.
“It’s very unfortunate what happened to Jamie (Kah), my thoughts go out to her (and Craig Williams),” Holland said.
“James had faith in me, took me through the race beforehand and showed me a couple of replays.
“He said she had the propensity to be a little slowly away and said if she did not to niggle at her.
“I rode her accordingly and she was too good.”
In Secret dwelt slightly at the start but travelled comfortably down the centre of the course before surging through to grab the lead.
“I don’t think I pushed the button too soon, but everything opened up around me,” Holland said.
“Everything around me was under pressure so I pushed the button and she accelerated really well.
“But it’s very lonely out in front at the 200m down the straight, so I wasn’t sure if anything was coming.
“But she was very tough, a rock-fit horse and probably the best horse in the race.”
In Secret, by I Am Invincible and purchased at the 2021 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale by Godolphin Australia for $900,000, took her record to six wins and three placings from nine starts for prize money of $2,809,850.
It was Cummings’ second Newmarket win after Bivouac’s victory three years ago.
In Secret was also his 36th G1 winner since joining Godolphin in 2017, but the trainer’s first thoughts were for the injured Kah.
“We really feel for Jamie and we hope she’s all right, that’s the most important thing,” he said.
“But we had to press on, it’s business, and find out who’s available to ride at 51.5kg.
“Dean’s a pretty bullish guy and he didn’t seem fazed and he rode her accordingly.
“I have to give him great credit for filling big shoes there and doing the job.”
Cummings said his team was always confident In Secret would appreciate a return to the Flemington straight, the drop back to 1,200m and her much lighter handicap.
“It was a proper Newmarket, but with 51.5kg at her best we couldn’t see how they might beat her,” he said.
“We were confident we had her right and didn’t she explode through the gap?
“She’s proved to be absolutely top shelf again and is two from three this preparation.”
In Secret will now return to Sydney and be aimed at another G1 on 1 April at Royal Randwick.
But her ultimate mission could be the $15 million The Everest at the same track in October.
“She can head straight to the T.J. Smith in three weeks and look like a big force in that feature,” Cummings said.
“She steps up to weight-for-age in three weeks against some of the best sprinters in the country, but we’re very very glad to have her.
“And for His Highness Sheikh Mohammed to win another Newmarket here with a three-year-old, the second in the past four years, is a great result.
“Hopefully we haven’t seen the last of her yet, but what a great record she has already.”