Trainer John Sargent had a good reason not to be trackside on Saturday to saddle smart staying mare Gin Martini.
While the four-year-old mare notched her maiden stakes success with a hard-fought victory in the Listed Sandown Cup (3200m), Sargent was walking daughter Lucy down the aisle.
The flashy chestnut, who is raced by James Moss’ Tricolours Syndications, was placed in the Gr.1 ATC Oaks (2400m) back in autumn, to go with multiple Group Three placings.
A daughter of Rip Van Winkle, Gin Martini sat handy to Good Idea and San Huberto who dictated proceedings, and ultimately proved too good under jockey Craig Williams despite running about over the concluding stages.
Gin Martini relished getting over ground, and undoubtedly her Randwick trainer would be looking forward to a name-sake drink.
"John Sargent’s daughter is getting married today and he's walking her down the aisle, obviously that's the problem with fathers having daughters,” Williams quipped.
"She actually felt like she was always going to be there enough but she just needed a bit more motivation, a bit more encouragement, a bit of straightening up, she's having her first run in Melbourne but she's a really good, tough horse."
Williams said the stable had been confident of a bold showing after a solid third placing over 2300m at her previous start.
"John was really confident with her this morning, she had no weight, she relaxes, will get the trip really well and said she can win it but she doesn't have any acceleration so it wants to be a true staying test,” Williams said.
“It wasn't a strong pace early but as you can see from the 1000-metres the pressure came on so it was the essence of a good staying test."
Gin Martini was purchased out of Dave Duley’s Landsdowne Park draft at the 2020 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 1 Yearling Sale by Tricolours Racing & Syndications for $40,000.
The well-named mare is out of the Red Ransom mare Tanqueray, who is also the dam of stakes-placed filly Nothin' on Me, a daughter of Not A Single Doubt.
Bred by Bree Baddiley And Sons Ltd, a half-brother to Gin Martini by Embellish was sold for $50,000 at last week’s New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run Sale, while the mare was due to foal to Cambridge Stud stallion Hello Youmzain this spring.