An inch-perfect ride from Ben Melham has aided Thought Provoking to land the Listed Thomas Farms Centaurea Stakes (2028m) at Morphettville on Saturday for trainers Mick Price and Michael Kent jnr.
The New Zealand-bred daughter of So You Think had finished runner-up in her three previous starts and under an expertly-rated front running ride from Melham, the five-year-old mare edged out the fast-finishing Agreeable.
“It is good to have the black-type on her CV, being a mare, and an unlucky one at that,” Melham said.
“This preparation she had no luck first-up and she was a bit unlucky the other day (when second to Unusual Culture at Sandown).
“She broke through for a well deserved win today.”
Thought Provoking advanced her career record to four wins from 14 starts, with a further six placings and in excess of A$220,000 in prizemoney.
After doing his pre-race form, Melham always thought he would be close to the pace.
“On paper, I didn’t see a lot of pressure,” he said.
“I was always wanting to be handy and nothing was keen to lead so I was able to get some pretty easy sectionals through the first half of the race.
“It was probably a little bit too easy, which just flushed a couple out that put a bit of pressure on us from the 700m.
“She was well-trained, well-prepared and able to maintain that gallop from the 700m and stave off the late challengers.”
Despite the late challenge of former Victorian galloper Agreeable, who these days races for Will Clarken and Niki O'Shea, Melham was confident he had the runner-up’s measure.
“It doesn’t win out of turn that horse, so I was pretty comfortable when I saw it chug up alongside me,” he said.
By So You Think out of the Listed winning Zerpour mare Zerello, Thought Provoking was bred by Windsor Park Stud’s marketing manager Mike Moran and his wife Helen, with close friends Chris and Carol Chamberlain.
A half-sister to Group Three placed Zaperb, Thought Provoking was purchased for $120,000 from the draft of Windsor Park Stud at the 2019 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 1 Yearling Sale.