Satin Smooth Return for Quezette Stakes 2011 Winner

Satin Shoes

Satin Shoes has started the spring with a win in the Quezette Stakes 2011

Clarry Conners may have missed out on his fifth Golden Slipper victory last season, but the Sydney horseman is brimming with confidence that his smart filly Satin Shoes can secure an elite level victory this spring after her first-up win in the $100,000 Quezette Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on Saturday.

The daughter of Flying Spur emerged as a genuine contender for the lucrative Golden Slipper back in April after she won her opening three starts including the Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes and ran a game second to Elite Falls in the Group 2 Reisling Stakes (1200m).

Come Golden Slipper Day, however, Satin Shoes could only manage to finish over five lengths away ninth behind Peter Snowden’s star colt Sepoy.

Back from a four month break last Saturday, Satin Shoes showed the same impressive form as her early juvenile preparation and held off a quality field to win the Quezette Stakes.

On the line Satin Shoes ($5) had only a short half-head to spare over Peter Moody’s Blue Diamond Stakes fourth placegetter Metonymy ($10) while the now Robert Smerdon-trained Golden Slipper runner-up Mosheen ($6.50) finished third ahead of Peter Snowden’s promising Glissade ($4F).

“She came down to take the fillies on and I thought it would be a pretty easy race but going into the race I thought it was a very hard race and I was wondering whether I’d done the right thing,” Conners said on Saturday.

“But anyway she’s won so that’s the main thing.

“She’s still on the improve, she’s a very gross filly and she’s done super here.

“Now that she’s won that’s nice so we’ll just keep going from here.

“She’s a short-course horse – that’s why we came down here.

“I’ve had a fair bit of luck here, I like the track.”

Among Conners’ biggest Caulfield track successors were his Caulfield Guineas victory with Encounter in 1997 and his Thousand Guineas win with Arobrea back in 1993.

“She was always a natural two-year-old, she’s thick-set, solid, has good shoulders and hindquarters on her,” Conners said of Satin Shoes.

“That’s the first time we’ve ridden her like that (settling back).

“I left it up to Michael (Rodd) because she’s got great gate speed but I thought that was very encouraging.

“It was a good ride because it taught her to settle and get to the line.”

While confident Satin Shoes can progress on this campaign to contend and even win at the highest level, Conners said he would be avoiding another showdown with Sepoy after their first-up success in the Listed Vain Stakes (1100m) on Saturday.

Sepoy displayed his same devastating acceleration and awesome ability as they did throughout their dominant career as a two-year-old to win in 1:03.99 on Saturday, Satin Shoes taking out the Quezette Stakes just 0.22 seconds slower than the country’s benchmark three-year-old.

“I don’t want to run into him that’s for sure,” Conners said.

Satin Shoes is set to have her next spring start in the Group 3 HDF McNeil Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on August 27 while Sepoy will almost certainly start odds-on again when he next races in the $250,000 Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on September 3.

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