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Peter Snowden’s odds-on favourite Guelph has taken out Royal Randwick’s first Group 1 of Epsom Handicap Day scoring her third elite level victory in the Flight Stakes 2013.
The talented daughter of Exceed And Excel debuted on this day last Sydney Spring Racing Carnival when second to Brilliant Bisc in the Listed Gimcrack Stakes (1000m).
But Guelph has far surpassed the rest of the fillies from that run 12 months ago.
Last season was a cracker for her and connections at Darley with Guelph twice beating home the boys in Group 1 fields when winning the ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes and Champagne Stakes back-to-back.
After a devastatingly close first-up second in the Group 2 Furious Stakes (1200m) she came into today’s $400,000 Group 1 Coolmore Flight Stakes (1600m) on the back of an all-too-easy win in the Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m).
Going back up to the mile today Guelph again proved too good again for a similar field to that she faced in the Tea Rose, the Sydney Princess Series of Races culminating with her big Flight Stakes success.
Jumping as the firming odds-on favourite at $1.35 into $1.30 she did what the punters expected her to do, but she didn’t do it the easiest way.
There was a line of three early but Tommy Berry took his mount She’s Bella to the front with Guelph forced to settle out wide in fourth with no cover.
She had to sit wide the whole way but jockey Kerrin McEvoy, who never panicked, was happy to have her camped there keeping her momentum going while backing her class to get her home just fine, which it did.
“Obviously she enjoyed that step up to the mile again here,” McEvoy told TVN after the race.
“So I rode her confidently.
“She camped there (on the outside) and classy horses can travel right there.
“Sure she was three deep but she had the class to overcome it.”
In the end the dominant filly of last season and now this one too sprinted home, exploding when McEvoy hit the button.
Drawing away Guelph had around two and a half lengths to spare on the terrific runner-up, Peter Snowden’s Sensibility who worked her way from the back of the field to run second.
The only filly to beat Guelph this time in, Anthony Cummings’ Furious Stakes winner Bound For Earth, then finished off the Flight Stakes trifecta in third.
“It’s a great effort,” Snowden said.
“If you can jump, relax, and you’ve got a great turn off foot that will take you a long way and she possesses all three.”
While it looked like a tough win, for Snowden that was as easy a Group 1 as they could get, the master trainer describing the Flight Stakes success as nothing more than an exhibition gallop for his valuable broodmare-in-the-making.
“To me she had an exhibition gallop that’s all,” he said.
Guelph will now head to Melbourne for a shot at more Group 1 glory this time at Caulfield on Wednesday week, October 16, in the $500,000 Group 1 Schweppes Thousand Guineas (1600m).
Being such a big strong filly she should be able to handle the mile in Melbourne now before likely being turned out for a freshen-up before an autumn return with Snowden unlikely to consider continuing her spring campaign to include the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 26.
“As far as I’m concerned it’s just the Thousand Guineas,” he said.
“She had an extended two-year-old campaign so I’m mindful of that.
“A freshen-up after the Thousand Guineas and then the autumn carnival is at her feet.
“The Coolmore, Doncaster, all those races are there.”
The $600,000 Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) is at Rosehill on March 22 while the $2 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) is back at Randwick on April 19, 2014.
The Doncaster especially would make her worth a mint in the breeding barn, but already being a three time Group 1 winner bodes very well looking ahead to that.
“Breeding is our backbone,” Snowden said.
“To get a filly of this quality.
“We were unfortunate to lose her mother…but this mare will replace her now and hopefully throw some good foals.”
Pre-Flight Stakes win she was already nearing odds-on territory in the Thousand Guineas betting markets.
See below for the full Flight Stakes 2013 results and then to back Guelph next race in the 2013 Thousand Guineas make sure you’ve got an account open at Ladbrokes.com.au.
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2013 Flight Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Randwick Race 4 – 05/10/2013
|1||1||GUELPH||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||–||6||56kg||$1.30F|
|2||5||SENSIBILITY||Peter G Moody||Brad Rawiller||1.8L||4||56kg||$61|
|3||2||BOUND FOR EARTH||John O’Shea||James McDonald||2.6L||2||56kg||$14|
|4||3||ARABIAN GOLD||David Vandyke||Peter Robl||3.2L||3||56kg||$6|
|5||4||SHE’S BELLA||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||3.6L||5||56kg||$21|
|6||6||REFER||Clarry Conners||Brenton Avdulla||4.3L||1||56kg||$151|
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