28 May 2011 - Former top filly Life Inthefastlane capped a remarkable resurgence when she outgunned some of Australia’s best mares to win the $100,000 Nevele R Stud Queen Of The Pacific at Melton’s Tabcorp Park.
A year ago Doreen owner/trainer John Yeomans and wife Christine were preparing to say goodbye to the daughter of Life Sign, whom they also bred, when she was battling a severe case of colitis. “We had her down at Werribee Veterinary Clinic, she was in intensive care for two weeks and she was that close to death that we never thought she was going to survive,” Yeomans said.
“We went down to see her to virtually say goodbye. She had every sort of treatment, it was just so intensive and you wouldn’t have thought she could survive. We’ve got to thank the Werribee Veterinary Clinic that she did survive.”Incredibly, Australia’s only Group 1 standing start event for mares, run over the testing 2760 metres, was just Life Inthefastlane’s fourth run back from her life-threatening illness.The five-year-old took benefit from a solid third in the previous week’s Group 3 Ladyship Cup, which followed a Shepparton win, to finish powerfully from midfield and register her 15th win at her 49th trip to the races. Not only was it Life Inthefastlane’s first start beyond 2575m, it was also her first try at standing start conditions.“We always thought she was a stayer, her mother (Indigenous) was a very tough horse, but I must admit that we did not think she was quite prepared enough to win this race,” Yeomans said of the mare who started even money favourite in her two-year-old APG final. Most punters were in the same boat. Life Inthefastlane, who was driven by Daryl Douglas, returned $34 for her 4.3-metre win over $59 chance Pacific Playgirl with another longshot, Left In Paris ($21), just over a head away in third. Broadways Best ($2 fav) found working into the spot outside leader Mendelico mid-race after spotting her rivals a 20m headstart too much to counter, finishing in seventh spot, 14m from the winner. The mile rate was 2:00.6 – just 0.5secs outside Whipair’s track record – and included a 56.6-second last 800m. Douglas said the race didn’t go exactly how he thought, but it worked out for the best.“The plan was to be behind the leader, but when I was three-back the fence I thought, ‘oh well, I’m still a chance here’,” the Bendigo horseman said.“When I was able to get one off the fence halfway down the back and end up one-one and then peeled I thought, ‘they’re going to be battling to beat me’.” - With the files of Brad Bishop