She may not have been able to get the better of Black Caviar last weekend but the 1300 Australia Stakes 2011 belong to star three year old filly Karuta Queen on Cox Plate Day at Moonee Valley.
In what’s fast becoming the most recognisable racing pattern in the country Karuta Queen bounced from the gates and went straight to the lead form her wide gate.
She was made to do a little bit of work by Beckon on her inside but in the end she got there well enough to earn a bit of a break in the middle sectionals.
As they readied to come off the turn she looked like she was about to come under pressure from a few in behind her but with a quick push from jockey Tommy Berry the race as good as over.
Any questions about her ability to run out the full 1200m were squashed as she entered the final 100m and she powered through the line to record an easy victory and stamp her name as a real force in the three year old ranks.
Miss Stellabelle worked home well to grab second in from of a game Amah Rock that just couldn’t go with the leading filly.
Trainer Neville Layt was one of the happiest people on the course two weeks back when Karuta Queen ran second to Black Caviar but he says he’s stoked to be back in the winner’s circle in his own right.
“I’d rather win a race then run second again,” he said.
He says the 1200m wasn’t going to be a problem around the tight circuit today.
“Not around the valley, I’ve had a look around the track earlier when I first come down,” he said.
“If she gets some cheap sectionals and she can lead them around the turn they won’t run her down.
“It’s just an amazing ride that she’s given me.”
Karuta Queen will contest one more race this prep, 1000m down the Flemington straight against her own age.
Layt’s sentiments are reflected by Tommy Berry who says he never had any doubts she was the best horse in this race.
“This is our race, everyone keeps saying she won’t run 1200m…I knew she’d do it,” he said.
“She’s my little superstar.”
He said she’s actually in even better shape than what it appeared as she didn’t perfectly handle the tight home turn.
“Moonee Valley isn’t her track, she didn’t get around it that great again,” he said.
“She’s no Black Caviar, but she’s a super filly for me.”
Karuta Queen paid $3.30 at Luxbet with Miss Stellabelle and Amah Rock $1.90 a piece.
If you didn’t get on it then don’t worry, there’s still plenty of racing to come at Moonee Valley today.
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1300 Australia Stakes Results 2011
|1st||8||KARUTA QUEEN(7)||Tommy Berry||Neville Layt||55.0||1-10.60|
|2nd||2||MISS STELLABELLE(3)||Damien Oliver||Mark Kavanagh||56.0||2.8L|
|3rd||1||AMAH ROCK(5)||Danny Nikolic||Peter Morgan||57.0||3.2L|
|4th||5||MOST HUSBANDS(2)||Dwayne Dunn||Darren Weir||55.5||3.7L|
|5th||7||RED RAIN(8)||James Winks||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||55.5||5.4L|
|6th||6||BECKON(1)||Luke Nolen||Peter G Moody||55.5||5.5L|
|7th||9||GLISSADE(4)||Kerrin McEvoy||Peter Snowden||53.5||7.5L|
|8th||4||VATICAN(6)||Craig Williams||Byron Cozamanis||55.5||10.8L|
|Src||3||GRAND BRITANNIA||Craig Newitt||Robbie Laing|