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FLR’s inaugural Ladies horse Almalita delivered a thrilling win on Tuesday in the 1900m Benchmark 58 Handicap for her big (nearly) all female owner group and trainers Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott.

Having only her 3rd run in this preparation and on the quick 7-day back up following a head-bobbing second at Kyneton, Almalita started a short favourite and in her usual style, was taken straight to the front where this time she held off all challengers to score her second career win.

She was given a perfect ride by young Beau Mertens who knew exactly what to do to get the best out of the front-running mare having nearly stolen the win at her last start. They didn’t make it easy for the pair however and Almalita had to dig really deep in the straight to get the victory.

"We wanted to lead early but were forced to do plenty of work” said Mertens. "She got into a lovely cruising tempo throughout and rounding the home turn she picked up nicely and kept fighting to the finish. It was a tough win.”

It was a deserving win after Almalita had been knocking on the door following two solid runs back from a spell. In true testament to her toughness, she was a eye-catching 3rd first up over a mile at Bendigo and going over a mile first up is never easy but then Gai & Adrian stepped her straight up to the 1875m second up and she lost the win in a head-bobbing finish after another brave on speed effort.

Having come through that run in particularly good order, Gai & Adrian put her on the week back-up for Kilmore and in true Waterhouse trained style, she showed just how brave and tough she was!

"I'm absolutely thrilled Almalita was able to add another win to the board yesterday. It was a tough run for the mare off the quick back up but she dug deep and she really won well.” Said Co-trainer Gai Waterhouse.

Adrian Bott was similarly thrilled “It’s never pretty with Almalita - she’s a big mare and can be a bit clumsy at times – we saw that at Kyneton – but she’s tough and she got the job done.”

If this win wasn’t close enough – just look back to her maiden 3yo win at Newcastle! Almalita's racing style gives her owners plenty to cheer for turning for home and she certainly likes to make it exciting for all in her finishes.

This bonny mare took her owners on a wonderful ride throughout her Spring and Autumn 3yo year running on some of the biggest carnival days including VRC Derby Day, The Championships in Sydney and Goodwood Day in Adelaide. While she didn’t quite measure up to the top level, she didn’t have a lot of luck striking heavy tracks and wide barriers so her loyal owner group gave her some time to mature over the winter and she’s come back a much stronger and more seasoned mare.

Tuesday’s win was one well celebrated by all the Ladies (and some gents including Beau and Adrian of course!) and we’re sure she’s going to be giving a great sight turning for home in starts to come.

Congratulations: Kate Waterhouse, Josie Healy, Eve O'Brien, Ingrid Murphy, Lucky Ladies Syndicate (Linda O'Connell, Sue Rush, Gigi O'Donoghue, Wendy Stewart, Danielle Moir, Melissa McSweeney), Quildaling Syndicate (Barbara Milh, Judy Quigley, Dianne Stockdale, Fiona Bunting, Kim Stockdale), Lynne Patterson, Ivanna Crabb, Stella Rogan, Lisa Stathakis, Yvonne & Robert Bowden, Punc Syndicate (Terri Preece, Jeanette Nunn, Karen Clark), Teresa Holdsworth, Michelle Alexander, Simon Ogden, Challenge MJC Syndicate (Jesse Campbell, Ben Pedersen, Nick Ingleby, Damien Marasco, Craig Gathercole).

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© First Light Racing Pty Ltd 2009

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