Resounding pre-post favourite Veuvelicious has produced a strong final straight sprint to comfortably win the Listed Fernhill Handicap (1600m) on day 2 of The Championships at Royal Randwick this afternoon.
Jumping well and immediately going to the front, the talented Northern Meteor filly settled back within the pack, allowing Khrysler and Aliyda to set a reasonable early pace.
Rounding the bend in prime position, Veuvelicious quickly found the front and put the hammer down, pulling out to more than a two length lead when finding the line in the clear of a strong finishing Careless and Gouldian.
Trainer Brent Stanley was delighted with Veuvelicious’s performance in the 2014 Fernhill Handicap, and is pleased to see his efforts as a trainer starting to pay dividends.
“It’s a great feeling to know I can prepare a horse to compete against this calibre of horse and trainers who do it year in, year out so it’s a great feeling” Stanley said following the race.
“She’s very versatile which is a massive bonus; I was saying to the owners this is actually an improvement of a couple of lengths from last week believe it or not.
“She’s just about to peak now, so it’s good.”
Stanley said today’s resounding victory is almost sure to see Veuvelicious accept a position in next weekend’s major Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m); the final stop of the two-year-old Triple Crown.
“She’s the right horse to back up; as long as she pulls up, I won’t make any quick decisions until I see how she pulls up, but I’ve got a funny feeling she’ll be even better next week” Stanley added.
Champion jockey Damien Oliver delivered a sensational ride on Veuvelicious in the 2014 Fernhill Handicap, and believes she will line up for the Champagne Stakes in peak condition.
“She’s a lovely filly; she’s got a lot of class and I think she can develop into an Oaks filly in the spring” Oliver said immediately after dismounting.
“Brent’s done a great job managing her so far, we were toying with the idea of waiting for the mile next week but saw this race for the taking and you’ve got to be fit on these wet tracks.
“We thought we’d take this one while we can get it and have a crack next week if she comes through well.”
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2014 Fernhill Handicap Results
|1||1||VEUVELICIOUS||Brent Stanley||Damien Oliver||–||1||58kg||$2.25F|
|2||3||CARELESS||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||3.3L||7||57kg||$5|
|3||6||GOULDIAN||Peter Snowden||Christian Reith||4.8L||2||56kg||$7|
|4||4||STANDOUBT||Gerald Ryan||Nash Rawiller||7.6L||3||57kg||$11|
|5||5||KHRYSLER||Mark de Montfort||Joshua Parr||7.9L||5||56.5kg||$11|
|6||2||CYCLONE||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||9.6L||9||57.5kg||$8|
|7||7||ALIYDA||Gregory Hickman||James McDonald||10L||6||55kg||$91|
|8||8||DASHIE DE LUXE||Tara & Philippe Vigouroux||Jay Ford||10L||4||55kg||$151|
|9||9||FIRST DRAFT||Liam Birchley||Zac Purton||19.7L||8||55kg||$41|