Talented mare Steps in Time (6m Danehill Dancer x Rare Insight, by O’Reilly) has been favoured to win the Group I ATC Coolmore Classic for the last two years only to be found wanting on the day, but this year the magic of champion jockey Jimmy Cassidy delivered her that much longed for Group I victory in what is arguably Australia’s greatest race for mares.
Transferred to Joe Pride at the start of this preparation following an announcement that her previous trainer John O’Shea would be taking over at Darley, Steps in Time has obviously relished the change of routine.
Fourth in the Coolmore Classic last year, Steps in Time had been performing below her best in subsequent runs in 2013, but seemed rejuvenated when beaten narrowly by Catkins at her first run back from a spell last month for her new trainer.
With a barrier trial win under her belt to tune her up for this assignment, Steps in Time was fit and fresh and raced accordingly.
She took up her customary role at the head of the field and under a daring ride by Jim Cassidy was set alight a long way from home and proved impossible to catch.
Three year-old filly Sweet Idea did best of her pursuers, rattling home for second to fail by a short half head.
Pride was quick to praise the genius of Jim Cassidy following the race.
“He told us what he was going to do and I wasn’t about to give Jimmy instructions,” Pride said.
“Bold ride from Jimmy, he only just got it right but when it comes off it looks good doesn’t it?
“He got it spot on what can I say?”
After six previous attempts at the elite level, Steps In Time captured an elusive Group I win to enhance her already impressive pedigree.
“She’s got the Group I beside her name now, got a fantastic pedigree and she’s related to Vision And Power another one of my champs,” Pride said.
“Probably a bit of a bold move to take her here second-up but just thought that was the best way to go with her.
“I knew she would improve and I couldn’t be happier with the result.”
Retained to race by her breeders, Steps in Time has won nine of 25 starts earning $1million in prizemoney and is the second living foal and first stakes-winner for Group II AJC Stan Fox Stakes winner Rare Insight (NZ), who has had two foals to race and both are winners.
Co-breeder Mike Everett was a happy man after the win.
“We bred her and raced her mum, so it’s an amazing thrill,” he said.
“She’ll go to the breeding barn later in the year, so it’s just a matter of what we do with her between now and then.”
A daughter of champion sire O’Reilly, Rare Insight is a half-sister to multiple Group I winners Vision and Power and Glamour Puss, so Steps in Time is certainly bred to be a star.
Steps in Time is the 18th Group I winner worldwide for veteran sire Danehill Dancer, who turned 21 this year.