Sneaky Five became the first to qualify for the Golden Slipper when she maintained her unbeaten record winning a thriller at Rosehill Gardens.
The fillies dominated the $1 million Golden Gift (1100m) with a 1-2-3 finish led home by Melbourne raider Sneaky Five.
Unbeaten Sneaky Five, trained by Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, earned $580,000 for the win which ensures her place in the field for the $3.5 million Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 20.
“It means we don’t have to worry about qualifying her, she’s in all the good races now,’’ Maher said.
For jockey Regan Bayliss, his win on Sneaky Five was further vindication he made the right decision to call Sydney home.
Bayliss was a leading jockey in Melbourne before moving to Hong Kong. He returned earlier this year and moved to Sydney to test himself against arguably the best group of jockeys in the southern hemisphere.
Regan Bayliss and Sneaky Five return to scale.Source:Getty Images
“Before I made the move I had a chat to Ciaron and asked if there would be any backing there and he said there would be if I put the work in,’’ Bayliss said.
“I’ve been going in (to Warwick Farm) every Wednesday for the last 12 weeks so I was waiting for an opportunity like this and I was glad I was able to capitalise.”
Bayliss said Sneaky Five, a brilliant winner at Moonee Valley on debut, got onto her right leg in the Golden Gift and was “very professional’’.
Sneaky Five was too good in the $1m Golden Gift! https://t.co/648g7sV78i
“I sat in behind Mura Mura and she switched off lovely for me. She showed good tenacity, she had to bump Nash’s horse (Rawiller, Ghostwriter) out of the way and get balanced again,’’ Bayliss said.
“She was good right through the line and she pricked her ears when she got to the front as well so there is a bit of upside to her.”
Maher also made mention of Sneaky Five’s professional attitude and will-to-win.
“When she won at Moonee Valley she had only had one jumpout before the race,’’ Maher said.
“We took her over to the Valley on the Tuesday before her race debut to see how she would go and she actually worked really well. She’s got the right attitude for a two-year-old.’’
The Golden Gift was an exciting contest with Sneaky Five ($9.50) edging clear of Cerda ($15) to win by a long neck with early leader Mura Mura ($8.50) holding on for third, just over a length away.
Regan Bayliss roars approval of his win on Sneaky Five.Source:Getty Images
Favourite Captivant ($3.90) ran on from near last on the turn for a close fourth.
Sneaky Five was purchased for $305,000 at the Inglis Premier Sale in Melbourne earlier this year. She has won her only two starts and already banked more than $880,000 prizemoney.
The beautifully-bred filly is a daughter of Coolmore Stud’s super stallion Fastnet Rock — the sire of 40 individual Group 1 winners including Personal, the winner of the VRC Oaks last week — and is out of an Oaks winner in Small Minds.
Sneaky Five is closely related on her dam side to 1974 Golden Slipper winner Hartshill.
Maher said the soft-heavy track conditions at Rosehill didn’t hold any concerns for him after Sneaky Five had won on a wet track when making her debut on Cox Plate day.
Cerda earned $190,000 for her long neck second, which also means the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained filly will secure a start in the 16-horse Slipper field.
Waterhouse described Cerda as a “little tigeress” with the filly’s fighting spirit keeping Sneaky Five honest right to the line.
“I will tell you who Cerda reminds me of — Overreach,’’ Waterhouse said.
“She is only small but like Overreach she has a beautiful action and wants to win.
“We would have loved to have won but this means we are in the Golden Slipper now.
“Cerda is owned by Phoenix Thoroughbreds who raced Farnan to win the Golden Slipper earlier this year.
“I’ve told them we might be able to win matching Slipper winners with Cerda.’’
Trainers Peter and Paul Snowden prepared third and fourth placegetters Mura Mura and favourite Captivant.
Paul Snowden said both youngsters were brave in defeat and had legitimate excuses.
“It wasn’t our intention to lead with Mura Mura,’’ Paul Snowden said.
“But she began really well and we ended up in front. It would have been nice to get a sit but she fought hard for third.
“As for Captivant, the wet track took away his brilliance. On top of the ground, he would have quickened but today he just kept winding up and hacking through it.”
Jason Collett and Savatiano prove too strong in the Hot Danish Stakes.Source:Getty Images
SAVATINAO CAPS BLUE LETTER DAY
Savatiano capped another memorable day for Godolphin trainer James Cummings and took her earnings past the $2 million barrier with another impressive win.
The field for the Group 2 $500,000 Hot Danish Stakes (1400m) had been cut in half with six scratchings due to the wet track but that doesn’t detract from Savatiano’s complete and classy win. Her runaway effort came soon after the Cummings-trained Bivouac had thrashed his rivals in the Group 1 Darley Sprint Classic (1200m) at Flemington.
“We had a few Group 1 second placings this spring without winning a major so it was good to get that win with Bivouac,’’ Cummings said.
“Savatiano deserves a Group 1 win, too. Without winning a Group 1, this mare has earned over $2 million which is a wonderful credit to the prizemoney that owners everywhere in this country are privileged enough to race for.
“There is the ($1 million) The Hunter next week to consider or perhaps we just put her away and worry about trying to win the Canterbury Stakes, the Sangster, the Winter Stakes and maybe the Stradbroke to go with it.”
Cummings, who prepared Colette to win the Golden Eagle just seven days earlier, could be excused for talking up the big-race chances of another of his top mares after Savatiano ($3.30) held off the late surge of Tricky Gal ($15) to win by a half-length with Positive Peace ($2.80 favourite) 1½ lengths away third.
Savatiano won The Hunter last year and Cummings didn’t rule out asking the mare to back up at Newcastle next week if she comes through the Hot Danish Stakes in good order.
“We get the opportunity to see how she freshens up and we can discuss those things Monday morning,’’ Cummings said.
James Cummings looks on after winning Hot Danish Stakes.Source:Getty Images
“She might hold a nomination for The Hunter on a seven-day back-up. We have a mare in very, very good form.
“She will drop back nicely in distance to what is probably her best trip 1300m next week. There are those things in her favour.”
Savatiano began the spring winning the Group 2 Lawrence Stakes at Caulfield but her form tapered off on the firm tracks in Melbourne.
“She just won’t let go if the tracks are too hard,’’ Cummings said.
“We got her back to Sydney and the guys at Osborne Park have done a great job with her, convincing me to keep her going and not to tip her out and wait for next year. It’s been a big result and a deserving result.’’
Cejay Graham and Accountability combine to win the KIA Handicap.Source:Getty Images
APPRENTICE’S ACCOUNTABILITY ON SHOW
Accountability provided emerging apprentice Cejay Graham with a milestone moment — her first winner for champion trainer Chris Waller.
Graham guided Accountaiblity to an upset win in the Kia Handicap (2400m).
She then gave Waller a detailed precis of her ride, talking with maturity and confidence.
“The options weren’t really there to get out and around them,’’ Graham said, explaining she needed to sweat on an inside run on Accountability from the turn.
“I was just lucky the run came for him and he was very game to the line.’’
Waller acknowledged Graham’s well-judged ride and said: “Keep working hard.’’
Smiling broadly but listening intently, Graham replied: “Yes, I will.’’
It was a simple exchange between trainer and rider but it was obvious Waller’s advice meant a lot to Graham.
Waller said Graham had ridden well for the stable before without getting a winner.
“I’m happy for Cejay, it’s always good to give these young apprentices their opportunity,’’ Waller said.
Accountability ($31) upset favourite backers when edging Stockman ($2.70) to win by a half length with Vegas Jewel ($4) a length away third.
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Originally published asSneak peak at quality as filly steps up Slipper quest
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