Ascot trainer Colin Webster had a pretty good idea his two-year-old filly Baby Paris was above average, a sequence of three top 400m trials was good evidence, but until she proved it on race day he kept his ambitions circumspect and remained cautious.
However; following her successful debut at Ascot on Wednesday, Webster’s guarded aspirations were emphatically validated after the daughter of Playing God made the best possible start to her racing career with a brilliant front running performance.
Displaying raw ability and speed, Baby Paris led from barrier to post for jockey Peter Knuckey and despite Sweep The Leg doing his best to challenge, she kicked clear in the straight and defeated the colt by 1 ¼ lengths with Union Jack third.
After Baby Paris’ win in the Amelia Park Lodge Plate (1100m), Webster said he was more than pleased to have his suspicions confirmed.
“I knew she could run 400m, but 1100m I didn’t know about,” Webster said.
“She showed a lot of grit today (Wednesday) and I’m very happy with that win.
“Her last trial she beat a very good horse of Russell Stewart’s (Street Parade) and beat him convincingly, so we knew she certainly had a lot of ability.
“It surprised me a bit, but it certainly didn’t surprise Peter Knuckey, he’s been rapt in this horse ever since he first sat on her.”
Despite her precocious talent, it wasn’t all smooth running for Webster before her debut.
It took patience and remedial work from barrier rogue specialist Geoff Martin to get Baby Paris educated and prepared for her race debut.
“We had a bit of trouble with her because we had some barrier problems,” Webster said.
“She was rearing up and had to be re barrier trained and it worried us considerably.
“But she is now settled and Geoff Martin gave us a big hand with that.”
Webster has eyes on next Saturday’s Karrakatta Plate (1200m) if Baby Paris pulls up sound.
Tabtouch quickly reacted to her win, shortening her quote from $18 to $12 for the Group 2 feature.
“If she gets a start we would like to go to the Karrakatta,” Webster said.
“Provided she pulls up ok and I can’t see why she wouldn’t really.”
Knuckey said Baby Paris will take great improvement from the run.
“She put them away pretty easily,” Knuckey said.
“She is green, but very raw, but there is a lot of upside going forward.”