‘Little mare’ shows off big engine for Pat Widdup at Wagga

Miss Shadowlake back in 2017.

Miss Shadowlake might only be a little mare, but she sure has a big enough engine, which was showcased on Saturday, winning the 1000m Maiden Handicap at Murrumbidgee Turf Club.

The Tumut bred Dane Shadow mare was ridden by Simon Miller, and she never looked like getting beat, finding the lead easily from the 1000m barriers and leading all the way, winning by 1. 24 lengths in the end from a fast-finishing Serb Alert and Another Star. 

“It was a good win,” said part owner, Barry ‘Shacky’ Madigan. 

“She led well, and she was attacked at the top of the straight and on the run home, but she kicked again and won.

“What the future holds, I don’t know. She might not win another race, or she might turn out okay but right now, it’s nice just to see her win.”

Barry’s eldest son, Brendan Madigan is the main owner of Miss Shadowlake, with Jim Connors (Parkes), Laurie Smith (Gundagai) and Peter and Cameron Ellison (Tumut) also involved.

“We bred her out here at Tumut Plains,” Shacky Madigan said.

“We did have the mare (Lakeside Miss), but Brendan now has her out at Cowra, and she is owned by a few of us around here.”

It isn’t every day that a six-year-old is a maiden, let alone wins at her second start, and Madigan explained that her smaller than usual stature held her back a bit, with connections allowing her to fill out before taking her to the races. 

“She was small. They are all bulky and rangy or chunky and small, and she is obvious small, but she wasn’t too bad in size when we sent her back,” Madigan said. 

“She did spend some time in the paddock but what did Bart (Cummings) always say, ‘It’s all about patience’, and in this case, it has paid off because she has won and won pretty nicely.”

Miss Shadowlake paid $17.40 for a win on the NSW tote and $19 on the NSW TAB Fixed Odds and Madigan joked that he had nothing on her. 

“You wouldn’t believe it, I went to the Bowling Club and watched her, and never had a cent on her. I just watched her go around,” Madigan laughed.

Despite not being wanted in the market, Widdup, who trains Miss Shadowlake out of his Albury stables, said the little mare was ‘light’ and could be hard to train, but she certainly had some ability.

“They were light framed little horses, her and her sister,” Widdup said. 

“She came back from the paddock good, and she was in good nick, but she is still a little light mare, and they are skinny eating little buggers. 

“You have to watch what you are doing with them. You can’t over work them, and I wouldn’t be backing her up without three weeks or something between, but they can gallop.”

Widdup was keeping a lid on his excitement, but he was pleased to see the mare showcase her potential and respond in the straight when put under a little bit of pressure.

“She can jump and go, and she has some pace about her. She isn’t a bad little mare and I think she will win a race or two,” Widdup said.

“I don’t want to be writing her up too much because that’s when you come undone, but she did enough at Wagga and when he (Simon Miller) gave her a couple, she went well to the line.”

The Albury trainer was in no rush to pick out his next race either but hinted at an Albury mission. 

“We will probably race her at Albury or somewhere like that. We are looking at something in the next three weeks,” Widdup said.