Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators
Smart filly Always An Angel made a successful return to racing after a 14-week absence when she scored a narrow victory in the 2130m Cowden Limited The Insurance Brokers Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
“We were planning to take her and Mighty Ronaldo for feature events in Melbourne in October but had to abandon the trip because of the complications due to the coronavirus pandemic,” said Boyanup trainer Justin Prentice.
“It was good to win first-up after finishing a very close seconds in the WA Oaks and the Diamond Classic earlier in the year. She is still pretty green and is not sure of what she is doing.”
The New Zealand-bred Always An Angel was the $1.70 favourite from the outside barrier in the field of nine and she settled down in last place before Gary Hall jnr sent her forward after 600m to race in the breeze, with Our Star Billing ($7.50) setting the pace after she had dashed to the front 400m after the start.
Always An Angel got to the front 60m from the post and held on to win by a nose from $3.80 second fancy Three Rumours, who finished fast. Our Star Billing fought on to finish third. The winner rated 1.58.5 after final quarters of 28.1sec. and 27.9sec.
“She has the habit of waiting for a horse to come on her outside before doing her best,” said Prentice.
Always An Angel, the winner of the group 1 Diamond Classic for two-year-old fillies in May 2020, has earned $157,892 from nine wins and five placings from 16 starts. She is the first foal out of Christian Cullen mare Angel Of Destiny, who managed just three placings from ten starts. Angel Of Destiny is a half-sister to former star juvenile Onlyforyou, who won two group 1 feature events for two-year-old fillies and was retired after her 46 starts had produced nine wins, 17 placings and earnings of $365,459.