By Isaac Murphy
Pump It was pummelling her competition late last year, with everything having clicked for Mark Saal’s talented bitch who was sweeping aside whoever was put in front of her.
The reality of training a good bitch is that they’re eventually going to come on season, and however untimely, Saal knew he needed to bite the bullet and do best by Pump It.
Four months later, she’s rewarding his patience on the cusp of winning the Listed Carnival Chase over the middle-distance, after regaining her form in a tough Free For All a fortnight ago.
“It was tough to have to tip her out when I did, she’d won seven races in a row including the big breakthrough with the Group 2 Queensland Oaks but knowing how much racing she had left, I didn’t want to delay her season,” Saal said.
“I made sure she stayed on the sidelines as long as she needed to, I’ve tried to bring bitches back early from season before and I just don’t think it’s great for them.
“Her first run back over the 600 where she was just beaten by Sequana was huge, she’d had one sprint and a couple of trials and that was it, I knew then she’d come back even better than before.”
Pump It had put the writing on the wall with her previous run and produced at the right time in her Listed heat.
“She had the class advantage in her Carnival Chase heat last Thursday, but I knew Irinka Lesa in two might beat us out from box three which could throw a spanner in the works and that’s what ended up happening,” Saal said.
“To Pump It’s credit, she took a bit of contact and still found a really nice spot just behind the leaders and she had the superior run home.
“I liked the fact she hooked to the outside and breezed on past, she’s had a few problems overtaking, but she looked really comfortable.”