Rebecca Menzies admits she is throwing both herself and her unbeaten juvenile hurdler Fabianski in the “deep end” as they bid for the stable’s first Listed success at Doncaster.
Fabianski’s two wins at Wetherby and Catterick have given the Durham trainer little option but to raise her in class for Friday’s Sky Bet Top Price Promise Fillies’ Juvenile Hurdle.
Her winnings have therefore already dwarfed a meagre purchase price of just £2,000.
Menzies is pinching herself over the bargain she could not quite believe at the time back in September, for a filly who was a Flat novice winner racecourse debut for Pam Sly.
Fabianski also made an instant impact over jumps when she made a mockery of her 20-1 starting price, bounding clear by 17 lengths at Wetherby in November, and is set to take on three fellow previous winners among her seven opponents on Town Moor.
Durham trainer Menzies has since passed 100 career winners in a burgeoning career which is beginning to put bigger targets on the agenda.
Contemplating this case in point, she said: “I’m throwing myself in the deep end, and her as well – but it just seems the obvious step really.”
Fabianski has already proved a wise purchase, of course, for rookie owners Stoneleigh Racing as well as her trainer.
“I don’t know how we picked her up so cheaply really,” added Menzies.
“We brought her back here with a pretty open mind. The lads that bought her, it was only the second horse they’ve ever had, and their first for me.
“They came along to Doncaster Sales, and we all liked her, but we just said we’ll bring her back, try to school her and see.”
There were mixed expectations therefore of Fabianski’s stable debut.
“I went to Wetherby with the attitude that if she doesn’t stay, we’ll go back on the all-weather,” said Menzies.
“But ever since we started schooling, she was pretty natural – jumping seemed to spark a bit of interest in her.”
Menzies reached that career century thanks to Emerald Chieftain at her home course Sedgefield last week.
She is grateful for the help she has received from many, especially former trainer and businessman John Wade – for whom she trains several of her dual-purpose string at his base in Mordon.
“I bang on about staff all the time, but if it wasn’t for the people who work for me this wouldn’t be happening,” she said.
“John Wade has been such an important factor for me, and coming up here has been the catalyst.”
Menzies made the move two years ago from former Gold Cup-winning trainer Peter Beaumont’s old yard in Yorkshire.
“This is such a wonderful place to train,” she said.
“It’s like a hidden gem – you can’t see it off the road, and it’s fantastic.
“I count my lucky stars every morning when I wake up here.”
As for Fabianski, Menzies is already delighted with her two wins – but if she provides a breakthrough third, and 101st, she will be that bit more so.
“I can’t ask much more of her – she’s done absolutely nothing wrong in those first two runs.
“There isn’t much form to go from either – it’s hard to know what she’s beaten, so I am guessing with her really.
“But she’s won two juveniles – where else do you go? This was the obvious place. I’d have liked to see a drop more rain, but I picked out this race straight after her win at Wetherby.
“Ever since we bought her, she’s been a pleasure to have – at home, and on the track.
“I took her away for a bit of work, and he is very happy with her. She’s going there in great form, so I hope everything is in place.”