New Zealand mare Quintessential’s love affair with Brisbane continued today as she scored a fighting victory in the Group 2 2013 Eagle Farm Cup (2200m).
The market predicted it would be a race in two between Peter Moody-trained pair Manighar and Lights Of Heaven, leaving the in-form Quintessential as the forgotten runner.
Coming off a strong win in similar conditions in the Chairman’s Handicap, the four-year-old was ridden positively, trailing the third of Moody’s runners, Voila Ici, in the run.
In the straight Quintessential quickly assumed the lead before showing incredible fight in the final 100m to hold off a fast-finishing Manighar who at one stage looked as if he would easily topple the Kiwi.
Last year’s Queensland Oaks winner will get a chance to claim further winter success in next Saturday’s Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m).
Trainer John Sargent said the staying mare “loves” the environment at Eagle Farm and was pleased with the fight she showed to hang on for victory.
“She grows a leg here, she loves the course and loves the weather,” Sargent said.
“I said to Damien [Browne] to use the two kilos you’ve got on the others and put the pressure on her and it worked ideally.
“She’s a great little fighter and she skipped through that ground really well.”
Browne echoed Sargent’s sentiments, describing the daughter of Fast ‘n’ Famous as “all heart.”
“When Manighar came up to her I thought she could be in trouble but gee she showed some fight,” Browne said.
“She tries her heart out, she’s all guts.”
Quintessential had to survive a protest from Manighar’s camp who suggested interference at the 1800m caused Manighar to lose ground.
While stewards agreed that there was interference, they said they could not be satisfied that had it not occurred the result would have been different.
Voila Ici showed a promising return to form to hang on for third while Lights Of Heaven laboured to finish in fifth position.
The Brisbane Cup next weekend is another key staying race of the winter carnival and great odds will be found at bookmaker.com.au!
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Eagle Farm Cup 2013 – Results
|1||6||QUINTESSENTIAL (NZ)||John Sargent||Damian Browne||–||6||57kg||$5.50|
|2||1||MANIGHAR (FR)||Peter G Moody||Brad Rawiller||0.1L||3||59kg||$3.20|
|3||2||VOILA ICI (IRE)||Peter G Moody||Glen Colless||0.9L||1||59kg||$14|
|4||4||MORIARTY (IRE)||Chris Waller||Nash Rawiller||1L||4||59kg||$4.80|
|5||5||LIGHTS OF HEAVEN (NZ)||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||3.5L||5||57kg||$2.80F|
|6||3||ZABEELIONAIRE (NZ)||Leon Corstens||Michael Rodd||6.8L||2||59kg||$31|