Talented four-year-old Intimate Moment has produced a strong final straight sprint to claim the Group 3 Epona Stakes (1900m) at Rosehill Gardens this afternoon ahead of Any Day Will Do and Epingle.
Jumping only fairly, Intimate Moment settled back in the pack on the rails, allowing early leaders Any Day Will Do, Scorpio Queen and Knead The Dough to dictate terms over the back straight.
Moving forward rounding the bend, Intimate Moment was guided towards a clear line upon entering the final straight, managing to move into contention with only 200 metres to run before poking a nose in the clear to secure a maiden win at Group level.
Trainer Ron Quinton was happy with the result but was confident in a successful day for the Dubawi mare, who has continued to build in form over her current preparation.
“It was very good” Quinton said following the Epona Stakes.
“She’s had a heap of runs this preparation and she just keep getting better, it’s just amazing.
“I told the boys all along; just be patient lads, be patient, she’s maturing and she’s going to keep getting better.
“We told Sam to get her out there and get her to relax, the only way she was going to win is getting her to relax and win it in the last 50, if she was going to win.”
Young Jockey Sam Clipperton delivered a good ride on Intimate Moment in the 2014 Epona Stakes, also securing a maiden win at Group level after coming so close on several occasions recently.
“She was going to be a query today at the 1900 and we had our doubts she was going to run it out” Clipperton said immediately after dismounting.
“Ron just said to me the key was to get her to relax and the only way you’re going to win is to put her to sleep.
“She relaxed beautifully, travelled well and she had a beautiful turn of foot at the end there for me.
“She’s shown a lot of ability at home and it’s great that she’s starting to deliver that.
“That’s my first win at Group winner; I’ve been knocking on the door for a while but it’s great.”
While yet to set a definite path for Intimate Moment this campaign, Quinton is eyeing an appearance in the Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) on April 12th as the next target.
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2014 Epona Stakes Results
|1||12||INTIMATE MOMENT (NZ)||Ron Quinton||Sam Clipperton (a)||–||13||54kg||$21|
|2||8||ANY DAY WILL DO||Guy Walter||Glyn Schofield||0.8L||11||54kg||$7|
|3||1||EPINGLE (NZ)||Michael Kent||Craig Williams||1.1L||7||56.5kg||$6.50|
|4||9||MAHARA||Guy Walter||Brenton Avdulla||1.4L||4||54kg||$10|
|5||6||LUCKY LAGO||John O’Shea||Jim Cassidy||2.9L||12||54kg||$4.60F|
|6||3||SCORPIO QUEEN||Les Kelly||Craig Newitt||3.6L||6||55.5kg||$6.50|
|7||14||AMARACHI||Tony McEvoy||Kerrin McEvoy||4.3L||3||54kg||$20|
|8||10||DANESIRI||Wayne Wilkes||Jason Collett||4.4L||5||54kg||$31|
|9||7||PRETTY PINS (NZ)||John P Thompson||James McDonald||4.6L||10||54kg||$21|
|10||5||EXPRESS POWER||Kris Lees||Hugh Bowman||6.7L||8||55kg||$21|
|11||15||QUAYSIDE||David Payne||Chad Schofield||9.3L||9||53kg||$21|
|12||13||KNEAD THE DOUGH (NZ)||Guy Walter||Christian Reith||9.7L||1||54kg||$8.50|
|13||11||PORCELLANUS (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||15.2L||2||54kg||$41|