Talented filly Sprits Dance picked up her third straight victory with a narrow win in the 2014 Kevin Hayes Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield this afternoon.
Spirits Dance was ridden just off the lead by jockey Vlad Duric and responded well when asked for an extra effort, but looked as though she was going to get run-down by the fast-finishing Marianne in the final stages of the race.
The Statue Of Liberty filly fought home bravely to hold off Marianne and add a win at Group level to her previous victories in the New Year Handicap (1200m) and Vaughan Webb Handicap (1100m) this preparation.
“She has always shown real good ability and I suggested to David from day one that she as this level of filly, but it just took her a while to get to the party,” trainer Peter Moody said after the race.
“She has finally got her mind in the right spot and is putting it all together.
“You would like them to try that hard in the last hundred; she wasn’t going to lay down was she and she really reached for the line.”
Moody revealed that the talented three-year-old was unlikely to race on this preparation, but believes that she should come back even better as an older horse and develop into an excellent broodmare.
“I think she is probably pretty deep into this campaign and I don’t know if there is a lot left in her,” Moody said.
“We will have a good bit of fun with her as a mare and it adds to the great broodmare band that David and Jenny have got up there and hopefully we will get a few more out of her.”
Chad Schofield had partnered Spirits Dance in her two previous starts this preparation, but Vlad Duric picked up the ride in the Kevin Hayes Stakes after Schofield was suspended for careless riding.
Duric was quick to pay credit to the toughness of the filly and said that he was delighted with the way that she relaxed in the early stages of the race.
“She relaxed beautifully in the box seat, but it was just a question of having a bit of luck on the corner, which we got,” Duric said.
“She throws her legs everywhere, but she can gallop.
“My filly did try pretty hard and she had fitness on her side.”
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2014 Kevin Hayes Stakes Finishing Order
|1||4||SPIRITS DANCE||Peter G Moody||Vlad Duric||–||1||56.5kg||$6.50|
|2||7||MARIANNE (NZ)||Michael Kent||Damian Lane||0.1L||7||56kg||$8|
|3||10||PATRICIA DAWN||Pat Hyland||Michael Walker||2.1L||2||55kg||$41|
|4||1||BOUND FOR EARTH||John O’Shea||Craig Williams||2.85L||3||57.5kg||$3.40F|
|5||9||SHAMALIA||Bart & James Cummings||Damien Oliver||2.95L||9||55kg||$3.60|
|6||11||DEMANDZ (NZ)||Lisa Anderson||Mark Zahra||3.35L||4||55kg (cd 55.5kg)||$31|
|7||6||MIRACLE TO ME||John McArdle||Brad Rawiller||4.6L||8||56kg||$51|
|8||2||THE HUNTRESS||Michael Kent||Michael Rodd||4.9L||5||57.5kg||$11|
|9||3||DIAMOND GLOW||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||7.15L||11||57.5kg||$18|
|10||8||WHISTLE BABY||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Ms Katelyn Mallyon (a)||7.55L||6||56kg||$11|
|11||12||SUBLIME AMAZONE||Heath Conners||Glen Boss||14.55L||10||55kg||$101|