With $130,000 on offer, the VOBIS Gold Elvstroem Classic was the richest race of the three-day Swan Hill Carnival and Warrnambool trainer Matthew Williams took home the lion’s share with a homebred filly of his.
The road trip north with family and horses to Swan Hill was indeed worth the journey when homebred two-year-old filly Don’t Doubt Maeve got through the heavy to score over 1300 metres.
Coming off a home-track defeat in last month’s $100,000 VOBIS Gold Strike after leading all the way, the progressive daughter of Not A Single Doubt compensated in spades with the whole family involved in the celebrations (pictured above).
“It’s certainly good to win a feature race like this and it’s even better when my wife owns a leg and half of her. She’s (the filly) only a little thing, there is not a lot of her, but she is so tough,” Williams said.
Williams said Don’t Doubt Maeve’s $76,000 prize (prize money and VOBIS bonus) for first place will be put to good use; funding a family business that will continue to support thoroughbred racing and breeding into the future.
“My word, it was a good day, and I’m looking forward to a nice pay cheque coming in the mail, especially with the VOBIS bonus on top.”
“Don’t Doubt Maeve has been in work for six months and had four starts this preparation (for two wins), but if she continues to improve there may be more VOBIS riches to be found this winter.”
Williams was particularly proud of the win as the filly is out of Banri Maeve, an eight-time winning mare by Magic Albert that he trained himself. Williams also trains her three-year-old filly Maeve In Manhattan (Manhattan Rain).
Interestingly, Banri Maeve took 18 starts to break her maiden so the talented daughter Don’t Doubt Maeve has certainly showed up mum having already won twice in her four starts.
Banri Maeve currently has a Headway weanling and is in foal to Blue Gum Farm sire Manhattan Rain.
Williams has half a dozen broodmares with most of them supporting local stallions this coming season to take advantage of VOBIS eligibility including the new VOBIS Sires race series.
“We are looking at Brazen Beau, and I bought a lovely Toronado filly from Swettenham at the sales this year, as they have also impressed me,” Williams indicated.
“We are fortunate we have our own spelling property which is economical as, even though we are only breeding a few, once the weanlings grow and the foals arrive the numbers can multiply quickly.
“Ideally, we like to retain to race the progeny ourselves, but we have made a couple of commercial decisions recently.
“A mare I breed with Darren Dance, Tonza Rossa, we sold her Shamus Award filly at the recent (Inglis) Premier sale and we will sell her Written Tycoon next year.”