Outback Angel’s halo shines at Goulburn

Kayla Nisbet and Bec McRae with Outback Angel ahead of her victory at Goulburn on Friday. Image: Bradley Photos.

Outback Angel defied a challenging track and a last-minute change of plans to justify her $1.20 quote at Goulburn on Friday. 

Contesting the 900m Class One Handicap, the highly touted three-year-old daughter of Super One, trained in Yass by Allan McRae, took on a small field plagued by scratchings. 

With Kayla Nisbet in the saddle, she raced on the speed and found the front before holding off the fast-finishing You Wish (Olivia Chambers, $6) by just under a length.

Later in the program, jockeys worked out that the inside wasn’t the place to be, with a ‘fast lane’ discovered towards the outside fence, making Outback Angel’s efforts in the ‘slower going’ all the more impressive. 

“To be honest, we wouldn’t have gone if we knew it was as bad as it was,” McRae told NSW Country and Picnic Racing

“It was 35°C, and there were still two downgrades. After watching our maiden race in the first race, that horse was copping clods, so we changed tactics and decided to race Outback Angel on the speed so she would dodge the clods. 

“Our intention was to ride her quietly and let her rattle home, so it was massive to win the way she did on a track that didn’t suit her.”

With bigger races in mind, such as a tilt at the $2 million The Kosciusko later this year and next year’s Country Championships, McRae was just pleased to see his filly show some ticker. 

“She was on the worst part of the track, and no one had worked out where the good part of the track was as it was still early on,” McRae said. 

“Nothing was winning from there all day, and we had her ready for 900m on a nice track, but she wasn’t hard-fit. 

“Still, she stuck her neck out and did it. She got away with it, and it was nice to win, but I didn’t enjoy watching it.

“We know she doesn’t like the wet, and what she had to do to win showed me what this filly is about and how tough she is, but it was hard to watch.” 

Worried it might have been a gut-buster of an effort, McRae won’t be rushing Outback Angel towards a second-up run this preparation. 

“She’s fast, but I reckon I will get her out to 1400m and a mile; she has a good set of lungs, and her recovery is awesome,” McRae said. 

“She had a bit of a blow yesterday, and she was entitled to, but she caught her breath quickly even though she had done it the hard way, which tells me she will be a good horse. 

“She’ll get an easy week; she ate up last night but was a bit jaded this morning, so we’ll see how she is in the next couple of days. 

“The plan for this prep is to let her go through her grades and find out how good she is.”

It was an interesting day’s racing at Goulburn, with the outside of the track the better going and jockeys eventually worked out where the fast lanes were. 

Jade McKenzie put in one of the rides of the day, tracking wide on the Sarah Murray-Leslie-trained Free State ($7.50) in the 1000m Benchmark 58 Handicap before cruising to a nearly four-length victory. 

Four-kilogram claimer Millie Thompson was equally as impressive on the Kim Waugh-trained Sidenay ($3.50), which was again ridden wide before holding on for a good victory in the 1400m Benchmark 58 Handicap.