On the face of it drawing barrier fourteen in a premier Group 1 sprint race would tend to put a dent in the confidence of most trainers regarding their chances to nail the thick end of the prize. Bob Vance isn’t one of them as he believes his underrated sprinter Its Destinys Child has what it takes to overcome that hurdle in the Group 1 Sistema Railway (1200m) at Ellerslie on Wednesday.
With his vast experience in riding the Ellerslie track during his stellar career in the saddle, Vance, who trains in partnership with wife Jenny, knows the Ellerslie 1200m start can actually assist those drawn wide at times. “It’s probably one of the few courses where drawing wide at that distance can actually help at times,” he said. “It’s a bit of an angled start and you are straight into a bend so if you have a bit of cover then sitting three-wide isn’t that bad. “In saying that, we probably would have been happier to draw a bit closer but she will come into eleven if the emergencies don’t get a run and we will just have to deal with what happens from there.”
Its Destinys Child burst into Railway contention with a winning double at Pukekohe last month including a comprehensive victory in the Listed Counties Bowl (1100m). “She’s a mare that has always been a little underrated but we’ve always known the ability has been there,” Vance said. “She was good last season although her form tailed off in her last couple of runs but you can put that down to the tracks she struck.
“There was rain on the day and she doesn’t cope with that as she needs a Good 3 to operate at her best. “She goes her best races fresh so we tipped her out for a fortnight after the second Counties win. “She came back in after that and has just done what she normally does. She looks well and with some luck we think she can go a good race.”
Vance also reported that daughter Maija was continuing to make steady progress in her recovery from the horrific injuries she suffered in a race fall at Rotorua back in September last year. Maija was told by doctors that she may never walk again but has defied that prediction to be back on two feet, albeit with some limitations, but a result that her parents could not have envisaged in the immediate aftermath of the fall.
“Maija is doing really well although she still has problems with her left leg,” Vance said. “She is probably sixty percent in that leg, which may be the best she will be, but given the early prediction was that she would be a quadriplegic, then I think that is an amazing result. “She keeps herself pretty busy with several projects on the go including doing a little media work with the Love Racing team. “She is taking it all day by day which is all you can do and hopefully she can continue to make the progress she has so far.”