Ishim shoots for three straight in Baradine Cup

Ishim following her maiden win at Tamworth. Photo: Bradley Photos.

Craig Martin will send the in-form Ishim to Coonabarabran on Sunday and the Tamworth trainer is confident the lightly raced mare can make it three wins on the trot in the $40,000 Baradine Cup.

The four-year-old had a luckless run during her first eight career starts but broke through for a maiden victory over the 1200m at Tamworth in late September.

Ishim followed up her maiden victory with a good win in the 1400m Class One Handicap at Coonamble last start, showcasing good early speed and strength at the end of her race to win comfortably.

“We finally drew some decent barriers, and she has won,” Martin said. 

“Her first run (this preparation) was over a 1000m, and it was all mucked up. She had the blinkers and earmuffs on and the jockey (Matthew Palmer) came back and said she should have won.

“Next start, we took the blinkers off and she drew a bad gate, and same thing, the jockey (Ben Looker), said if we drew a gate, we win.

“She finally drew a gate at Tamworth and won.”

Martin admitted it was a big step up from Class One company to a 1400m Benchmark 66 Handicap, but he believed his mare was good enough to get the job done.

“I did pick out the Class Two 1300m fillies and mares race at Moree next Friday, but her Benchmark was going to tell out there and she would have carried 59kg,” Martin said.

“This is a (benchmark) 66, but we thought she would get in on the minimum and be hard to beat if she drew inside the first 5.

“She is progressive, but I think looking at the race, it is a nice stepping-stone to see where she is going in the future, and for her to go ahead and win some races, she has to be competitive in that sort of race.”

Connections did draw well with gate 5, and the young mare will only carry 54kg after Jackson Searle’s 1.5kg claim.

Owned by Jill Nivison, who is made famous by breeding and owning Tie The Knot among a myriad of other brilliant horses, Ishim is out of Nivison’s mare, Jendrick.

The War Trace broodmare that is out of Tacoma, was a winner of two races from six starts and Martin believed she was the quickest filly he has ever trained. 

“Her mother was probably the best filly I ever had,” Martin said. 

“A horse never went past her. She was fast and this one (Ishim) is her second foal.”

Martin looks to have a strong hand at the Coonabarabran Showcase meeting on Sunday, with a team of three making the trip. 

Joining Ishim at Coonabarabran is Aarkus, and he jumps from gate one in the 1200m Showcase Maiden with Grant Buckley in the saddle, and Ellebeedee, which also drew well with gate 3 in the 1600m Class Three Handicap with apprentice Jackson Searle taking the ride.

“I think Aarkus has a lot of talent, and he is an up-and-coming horse. Armidale wasn’t the track for him last start; he got back and made up a hell of a lot of ground,” Martin said.

“Ellebeedee – she is a good chance. She will be ridden cold in that sort of race, and she is a good place chance. She is a better chaser than being up front and she will be ridden that way.” 

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