Ken Casellas | Photo: Gloucester Park Harness Racing
“Not many mares win $200,000,” declared a beaming proud part-owner and trainer Peter Tilbrook after Vivere Damore had sustained a spirited finishing burst to snatch a dramatic last-stride victory by a head over Angel In White in the $23,750 Carlier WA Adventures Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Tilbrook picked out Vivere Damore at the 2016 Gloucester Standardbred yearling sale and purchased her for $10,000 before syndicating her to several part-owners including her breeder John Coffey, Ray Bastin, Jim Nelson, Reg Phillips, Luke Tabbakh and his mother Leanne Lee.
“I saw her at Coffey’s place and liked the look of her,” said the 50-year-old Tilbrook, who has given her 106 starts for 13 wins, 30 placings and stakes of $211,714.
Vivere Damore is by New Zealand sire Lincoln Royal and is the fourth and final foal out of the Village Jasper mare Living On Love, who was retired after her seven starts as a three-year-old in 2009 produced just one third placing and stakes of $2475.
A highlight of her career has been her victory in the group 2 Christmas Gift in December 2020 when she defeated brilliant pacer Patronus Star. But after that win Vivere Damore experienced a losing sequence of 26 which ended three starts ago when she beat Angel In White and Born To Boogie when she set the pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park.
Quizzed over Vivere Damore’s excellent recent form, Tilbrook said: “There’s no secret for her return to the winning list; It is just a matter of racing luck. Right through her losing sequence her runs were good, good, good. I think she ran only one bad race in that losing run of 26. In all the other races she went really good or had no luck. There were a lot of placings (ten) and top five finishes in those 26 runs.”
Vivere Damore was a $39 outsider from the No. 4 barrier in Friday night’s field of eight runners. Mitchell Miller (27) was having only his third drive behind Vivere Damore, and he gave a patient exhibition in being content to race her in sixth position, one-out and two-back.
Jack Farthing ($5.50) set a modest early pace before increasing the tempo with a third quarter of the final mile in 28.1sec. But he then wilted badly, and Ryan Warwick sent the breeze horse Glenledi Chief ($3.70) to the front 430m from home.
Glenledi Chief quickly established a lead of two lengths, but he faded as Angel In White (who had enjoyed an ideal passage in the one-out, one-back position) got to the front 90m from the post. Vivere Damore, who was switched three wide approaching the home turn, finished solidly and got up to win by a head, with the final 400m in 28.8sec.
“Vivere Damore needed a bit to go right for her to win tonight,” said Miller. “We lobbed in a good spot, behind Angel In White, and we got within a head of that mare half way down the home straight, but Vivere Damore didn’t want to go past her.
“So, I switched to tap Vivere Damore with the whip on the nearside, and she responded and got her nose in front.”
Tilbrook said that he probably would give Vivere Damore one more run before sending her for a spell and then bringing her back to prepare her for the rich feature events for mares in the summer.