Glamour colt Bivouac might have been the hot favourite for the Group I MVRC Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley on Friday night , but an inside gate brought about his downfall with exciting I Am invincible filly Loving Gaby producing a career best performance to win the prestigious 1200 metre WFA sprint.
With Bivouac cluttered up on the inside and eased back to midfield, Loving Gaby was ridden forward by Craig Williams to take a prominent position and she was too strong in the run to the line to beat late closer Vital Silver by three-quarters of a length.
Bivouac never saw daylight and finished sixth.
Prepared by Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, Loving Gaby was one of the best two year-olds last season finishing fourth in the Group I ATC Golden Slipper and second in both the Group I ATC Sires Produce Stakes and ATC Champagne Stakes.
“She jumped well and was keen to run,” said Craig Williams.
“They only chose to come here after her Tuesday gallop, so it was a good decision.”
A $500,000 Inglis Easter purchase for Phoenix Thoroughbreds from the Kia Ora Stud draft, Loving Gaby has the overall record of three wins and three seconds from eight starts with prizemoney in excess of $1.3million.
“She is so special, everyone in the team has done a great job with her,” said Ciaron Maher.
“She’s always had the ability and was unlucky in a couple of those Group I’s last season. It’s a pleasure to get a Group I for Phoenix Thoroughbreds.”
Loving Gaby was bred by Kia Ora in partnership with Alan Bell and is the first foal of Group II placed Maastricht, who was race by Bell.
A half-sister by Mastercraftsman (IRE) to Group I winner Velocitea and stakes-winner Weaponry, Maastricht has a yearling filly by Sebring and has foaled again this spring producing another filly by I Am Invincible.
She was offered at the Inglis Chairman’s Sale earlier this year in the Newgate Farm draft where she was bought by Coolmore/James Bester Bloodstock for $2,250,000 with the aim of being covered by Triple Crown hero Justify.