IN Racing
Self Obsession takes Royal Stakes in desperate finish
Jamie Richards-trained Self Obsession who got in the deciding stride to claim victory by a nose over Princess Lowry.
NZ Racing Desk | January 01, 2022
Self Obsession. Photo: Kirstin Ledington

In a thrilling finish to the Gr.2 Valachi Downs Royal Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie, it was the Jamie Richards-trained Self Obsession who got in the deciding stride to claim victory by a nose over Princess Lowry.

Ridden by Michael McNab, who had lost a previous race in the enquiry room in a similarly close finish, the daughter of Shocking had sat outside pacemaker Set In Stone before moving to the front on the home turn, as a wall of horses loomed into contention.

One of those protagonists was Princess Lowry, who had run a game race for third in the Gr.2 Eight Carat Classic (1600m) on Boxing Day and she claimed the lead with 300m to run.

McNab and Self Obsession fought back gamely and the pair went to the line locked together, with the photo finish revealing the narrowest of margins to Self Obsession.

“It was very tight and that other one had us beat everywhere but the line,” Richards said.

“Full credit to our filly though as she is a big, staying type that toughed it out.

“I thought she was a filly who would appreciate the step up to 2000m as she is bred to get that sort of trip.

“She has a big, loping action that allows her to roll along on the speed.

“It wasn’t easy as she got attacked a fair way out, but she was tough and got it done.”

Richards advised they would take a look at the options available to the filly now as she makes her way to the Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld New Zealand Oaks (2400m) in March.

McNab was confident he would get in the winning stride but shortly before the post began to have some doubts.

“Just before the post I was confident, but I had my head down and was pushing so I didn’t know when they got to the line,” he said.

“It was a good effort as they started pressuring me before I wanted them to and then she (Princess Lowry) put half a length on me.

“To her (Self Obsession) credit she fought back and it was a really tough win.”

Self Obsession is owned by David Price, a noted form analyst and bloodstock trader based in Hong Kong, who also bred the filly by Rich Hill Stud stallion Shocking.

She is out of the O’Reilly mare Mawaakib, who won on debut as a juvenile for David Hayes at Sandown and is in turn out of the Group Three placed mare My Hangover.

The win provided Self Obsession with eight points in the New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year title race, where she is now placed third behind stablemates Belle En Rouge (19) and The Perfect Pink (12) with five races left in the 11-race series that culminates with the New Zealand Oaks on 19 March.

Ellerslie Jamie Richards Self Obsession David Price Michael McNab Mawaakib