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Woodmansey a 'nervous wreck' ahead of APG

By Duane Ranger

The nerves are starting to kick-in for school administrator and part-time trainer, Anna Woodmansey, who got her wish going into the biggest race of her life at Albion Park on Saturday night.

The Chambers Flat horsewoman trains the fastest filly Queensland has ever produced, the 1:53.2 miler, Pelosi.

She will start from gate two in Saturday’s $350,000 Australian Pacing Gold Final for the 2-year-old pacing fillies.

It is the eighth event on the 10-race card and it kicks off at 8.48pm.

“Two is a great draw for her. Anything except one and eight would have been good. The last thing I wanted was for her to be hemmed away on the rails,” she said.

Albion Park


“At least from two she will be in the running line and John (Cremin) will have clear air to maneuver her. I’m so nervous. I’ve never had a Group One starter before, let alone one of the favourites.”

In-fact, TAB has posted the filly as a $1.90 favourite going into the race, with Jemstone on the second line at $3.20.

For the last 30 years Woodmansey has worked in the office at Beenleigh High School. The Chambers Flat horsewoman said Pelosi, after four starts, was now starting to realise what the racing game was all about. 

“She was pretty raw early on, but she’s always been such a lovely gaited animal, who is still learning how to race. She can go like a ‘bat out of hell’ at times and I’ve just noticed recently that she has started to slow down and use her speed appropriately,” Woodmansey said.

The very well bred American Ideal - For Dear Life (Life Sign) filly did go like a ‘bat out of hell’ when winning her APG heat at Albion Park last start on April 26.

Cremin had her in the one-one that day, and then he took her to the front at the bell. The juvenile then simply ran her six opponents off their feet, winning untouched by an increasing 23.3 metres.

The talented bay stopped the clock in 1:56.8 (mile rate 1:53.3) and her sectionals were 28, 29.5, 28.5, and 27.4. That was Pelosi's third win in four starts.

“John said she did it easily and could have gone faster. That’s heartening to know because Muscle Factory holds the all-time juvenile mile rate record with 1:53.1, and to think she could have beaten that is some statement,” Woodmansey said.

“I’m not over confident going into Saturday’s race – more a nervous wreck. The three horse (Michelle Lee Mac) can leave the gate very fast, so I’m not sure if the lead will be there.

“She’s never really led in her races. John has usually settled her before making his bid for the front. That’s why I’m so delighted we have drawn one out from the markers.”

Woodmansey said Pelosi had two preps with Kylie Rasmussen early on and she really liked her.

“She’s a smart, sensible filly. She comes from a nice family, many of which have won Group races. However they can tend to be a bit loopy unless you keep them in work,” Woodmansey said.

“She’s also an intelligent horse who has come though her last race very well and has eaten everything in sight. I couldn’t be happier with her. She seems a lot more relaxed now.”

Pelosi hails from a quality family, and the daughter of American Ideal is well named.

Her human namesake - Nancy Patricia Pelosi is an American politician who has been the speaker of the United States House of Representatives since January 2019.

"Wayne named her. He reckons Pelosi gives (Donald) Trump heaps. Her mother was also a very nice racehorse. In fact a lot of the family have done well," Woodmansey said.

Wayne is Wayne Honan, Woodmansey’s partner and the owner/breeder of both Pelosi and her dam - For Dear Life (2005 Life Sign mare). Honan's Hall-of-Fame father, the late Jack bred the grand-dam, the 1992 Stature mare, Express Post.

Between them, For Dear Life and Express Post won 25races and just on $400,000. For Dear Life won 14 of her 28 starts ($322,331) and three Group One events, including the $125,000 Breeders 2yo Challenge in 2008; the $100,000 NSW Wales Oaks in 2009; and the $100,000 APG 3yo Fillies Final in 2009. The first two Group Ones were achieved at Harold Park and the latter at Albion Park.

Woodmansey said Express Post won 11 of her 18 starts and $89,483.

"I think that might be where Pelosi gets her speed from because Jack said Express Post was an exceptionally fast mare, " said Woodmansey.

Pelosi arrived at Woodmansey’s barn in November and she is one of two currently in work. The other, Photozen (and Cremin), finished a head second at Albion Park yesterday (Wednesday). He has won five races.

“I just love my horses like they are my kids. They always get kisses and cuddles and brushes. I just can’t believe I have such a wonderful pacer in my stable.

“I’m so proud of her. She is an Equine Flair ambassador and that is quite something in itself for a standardbred. I’m very proud of her.

“I’m just so nervous,” she stressed. Saturday is going to be something I've never experienced before. Win or lose she will still be my precious girl. I’m just so proud to have a Group One starter.”