Promising filly Afleet Esprit made her black type racing debut with a fast-finishing victory in the 2014 Cap D’Antibes Stakes at Flemington this afternoon.
Afleet Esprit was settled towards the tail of the field by jockey Damien Oliver in the early stages of the race, but along with Robert Smerdon-trained Lumosty finished over the top of the leaders in the final stages of the race.
Lumosty and Afleet Esprit pulled well clear of the rest of the field in the final 100 metres, but the daughter of Bel Esprit was too strong in the final stages to score a narrow win, while Quezette Stakes winner Sabatini ran home strongly to finish third.
Oliver has now recorded two wins from as many race starts on Afleet Esprit and he believes that the three-year-old still has plenty of improvement in front of her as she works further into her 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign.
“We settled a fair way off them and we were giving them a good start midrace,” Oliver said after the race.
“She finished powerfully, it was a really strong last 600 and I would say that she ran a pretty quick time.
“The 1400 will be right up her alley and from there on we can make an assessment whether she will get to the mile or not.”
Trainer David Hayes was very bullish about the chances of Afleet Esprit heading into the Cap D’Antibes Stakes the three-year-old is likely to have her next race start in the Group 2 Thousand Guineas Prelude (1400m) at Caulfield on September 28 and she remains a chance of making her Group 1 debut in the Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 11 after she was included in the first acceptances for the race earlier this weekend.
“She is in great order and her trackwork has been first class,” Hayes said before the race.
“She will get better as the races get longer, but up the straight she might get away with it.”
Hayes has a runner in every race at Flemington this afternoon and has promising imported stayer Spillway in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m).
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2014 Cap D’Antibes Stakes Results
|1||3||AFLEET ESPRIT||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Damien Oliver||–||13||55kg||$10|
|2||7||LUMOSTY||Robert Smerdon||Craig Williams||0.1L||12||55kg||$10|
|3||1||SABATINI||Lee & Shannon Hope||Nicholas Hall||2.85L||8||57kg||$5.50|
|4||6||TRAVESTON GIRL||Tony Gollan||Damian Browne||3.6L||2||55kg||$3.20F|
|5||8||AVANTI||Anthony Freedman||Daniel Moor||4.1L||11||55kg||$61|
|6||9||MORE RADIANT||Mick Price||Glen Boss||4.85L||10||55kg||$5|
|7||14||A LOTTA LOVE||Sam Pritchard-Gordon||Reece Wheeler||6.1L||5||55kg||$91|
|8||5||PIENKNA||Tony Gollan||Tegan Harrison||6.2L||3||55kg||$10|
|9||10||TOP DOLLY||Tom Hughes||Brian Werner||6.6L||7||55kg||$21|
|10||4||MORE FOR ME||Peter G Moody||Chad Schofield||8.1L||9||55kg||$21|
|11||12||WHITE HOUSE LADY||Tony Noonan||Jake Noonan||8.85L||6||55kg||$21|
|12||2||SUNSET ROCK||Lloyd Kennewell||Mark Zahra||12.6L||4||56kg||$41|
|13||13||ABESHA||Shea Eden||Rhys McLeod||16.85L||1||55kg (cd 55.5kg)||$151|