Epicurean Shows True Ability

An impressive 3.3 length victory by Epicurean (Flying Spur x El Bulli) has seen the Pencarrow Racing mare breakthrough for her maiden success in the $7,000 Tanks and Soils Limited 1400m on Wednesday.

Trained by Frank Ritchie, the daughter of Flying Spur was having her first start on a track rated worse than Dead and revelled in the Slow 9 conditions at Matamata.

“The track conditions were perfect for her,” commented Ritchie. “Because of her joint issues she doesn’t handle firm track conditions and the slow track was probably just right for her. For a big horse she is pretty timid so the blinkers helped her and she showed her true ability.”

Starting from barrier 10, Epicurean was forced to race wide for in-form jockey Rory Hutchings but travelled comfortably throughout the race.

Hutchings found the best ground out wide on the track in the straight and Epicurean sprinted clear of the field to record a decisive victory over race-favourite Oomph (Fast ‘n’ Famous) and the late finishing Rich Ted (Thorn Park).

“She has always shown us plenty of ability,” said Ritchie. “She ran second to Waterford at her first start as a two-year-old so we have always had a good opinion of her.

“She is a huge horse, she is usually about 630-640kgs but that means her joints are under enormous pressure which has led to a few issues. We have worked through those issues and got her right on the day.

“I think she will be better over more ground, she is out of a Zabeel mare and I think she will develop into a nice stayer. We will look for a mile next start with her and then step up to 2000m, staying will be her forte.

“I have to say, it is a credit to Sir Peter for being so patient with her, most people would have given up on her with the problems she has had.”

The four year-old mare broke her maiden at start number seven for owner Sir Peter Vela who bred the mare along with Philip Vela.

Epicurean is out of Group 2 placed mare El Bulli (Zabeel), a full-sister to Group 3 placegetter Abbey Drive (Zabeel). She is from the family of champion racehorse and seven-time Group 1 winner Might and Power (Zabeel).