Promising filly Rumour Has It’s future was in the balance last year after she fractured a hind hoof when she attempted to leap over a 5ft steel gate at trainer Debra Lewis’s Hopeland property.
This kept her out of action for nine months before she resumed racing and she enhanced her prospects of winning the rich WA Oaks on April 9 when she scored a smart all-the-way victory in the Group 2 $50,000 Daintys Daughter Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Fourth favourite at $7.70 from the prized No. 1 barrier, Rumour Has It ambled through the lead time in 38.3sec. and the opening quarters in 29.8sec. and 29.9sec. before sprinting the final 400m sections in 28.2sec. and 28sec. to beat the fast-finishing pair of Just For Love ($71) and Black Jack Baby ($5.50).
The $1.90 favourite Always An Angel raced three wide early and then worked hard in the breeze before wilting to finish fifth. The winner, bred, owned and trained by Debra Lewis, now has earned $74,137 from six wins and four placings from 12 starts.
“Rumour Has It didn’t race too much in her two-year-old season,” said star reinsman Chris Lewis. “She jumped a steel gate, and all but cleared the gate, but got a back leg caught and fractured a back hoof.
“We will now be looking for a few Westbred races for her and the 2536m of the Oaks won’t be a problem. She likes to roll and keeps cutting out (fast) quarters. Tonight, she actually travelled a little slower than I wanted. I wanted to step her up a bit but she star gazed a little bit.
“She is a capable filly and is not just a frontrunner who has a few options apart from leading, which was a good option tonight.”
The win gave Lewis a record fourth success in the Daintys Daughter Classic after wins with Five Hundred More (2005), Sheer Royalty (2009) and Double Expresso (2020).
Rumour Has It is by American stallion Roll With Joe and is the eighth foal out of the Christian Cullen mare Roustabout, who had only 12 starts for four wins, two placings and $33,171. Roustabout won twice from three New Zealand starts, was unplaced at her only appearance in Victoria and had eight starts in WA in 2006 for two wins and two seconds.
As a four-year-old Roustabout, trained by Noel Keiley, won the group 3 Empress Stakes from Precious Maiden and Sovereign Beejay.
Rumour Has It is a half-sister to Arousing (110 starts for 11 wins, 32 placings and $119,663), Just A Horse (157 starts for ten wins, 28 placings and $77,234) and Loving You (59 starts for ten wins, 20 placings and $97,229).
By Ken Cassellas