If she hadn’t already, Danielle Seib can now lay claim to the title of ‘Queen of the Highway’, with the Goulburn trainer making the weekly Highway Handicap her own in recent months.
Following her success in the weekly country-only race with popular galloper Assault’N’Bathory in 2019 and 2020, Seib has won four more since December of last year.
King of Spades (Zac Lloyd, $7) kicked it all off at Royal Randwick on New Year’s Eve when winning the 1400m Class Three Handicap, while Smokeshow (Tyler Schiller, $6.50) won at the same venue last month when taking out the 1100m Class Two Handicap on January 21.
Only last Saturday, Seib was again at Royal Randwick, with Amarantz (Tyler Schiller, $6.50) winning the 1800m Class Three Handicap at Royal Randwick in stylish fashion.
Today, Seib won her sixth Highway Handicap at Rosehill Gardens, and this time she teamed up with Regan Bayliss, who won a thrilling 1400m Class Three Handicap on Blood River ($13).
The pair edged the Danny Williams-trained Preemptory (Zac Lloyd, $9.50) by 0.11 of a length, while in third and only 0.36 of a length back was recent Braidwood Cup winner Bon Frankie (Tyler Schiller, $21) from the Aaron Clarke yard.
While thrilled to have Blood River continue a simply sensational run of form for the Goulburn yard, Seib wasn’t taking anything for granted.
“You’re never accustomed to winning races,” Seib laughed.
Still, she went to town confident that Blood River would run a good race for connections, and some astute punters found the $26 that was on offer earlier today before backing him into $13.
“I thought he was well over the odds today,” Seib said.
“Two runs back, he was against the favourite (Super Extreme) and was beaten three quarters of a length, and he had to work hard from the outside gate, led and was pressured, and never folded and he was really full of heart that day.
“Last start, he was obviously way out of his grade and had a hard run too, so we just freshened him back up and gave him a good solid trial and brought him here and he was lucky enough to draw very softly.
“I said to Regan, ‘just coddle him for as long as you can; he’s got a turn of foot, and the less he does in the run, the more he will have late’.”
Blood River was originally trained by Robert and Luke Price, and he won his maiden at Goulburn in late 2021, but he has thrived in Seib’s yard, starting six times for three wins, while compiling a career record of 15 starts for four wins and two minor placings.
“He’s come a long way,” Seib said.
“When he came to my stable, we dead-heated in a TAB (Sky) 2 at Goulburn, and the horse’s confidence just grew and grew from there, and in six runs that’s his third win for the stable.
“A big thank you to the owner; Phillip (Pollicina at Ravenswood Bloodstock); he entrusted a couple of horses into my care and it’s terrific to go to the races and win first-up for a new owner, and to continue that success is very rewarding.”
Seib, who works alongside her partner Aaron, has 28 horses in work, and she paid tribute to her hard-working team for their efforts in getting each and every horse to the races.