Sydney’s leading trainer Chris Waller has celebrated a third Group 1 win in just two weeks after his improving filly Amicus finally broke through for her maiden spring win in Melbourne’s Thousand Guineas 2014 at Caulfield Racecourse.
Last weekend Waller ran the quinella in both the Epsom Handicap and The Metropolitan back home in Sydney, but today he took out across the border with his daughter of Fastnet Rock Amicus the best of the fillies in the $500,000 Group 1 Schweppes Thousand Guineas (1600m).
She’d had two previous runs at Caulfield Racecourse leading up to her Group 1 debut finishing third in both, including the Group 2 Thousand Guineas Prelude (1400m) behind Afleet Esprit last start on September 28.
Both of those runs were luckless according to Waller, especially the Prelude where she was trapped wide and did it tough all the way to the line when beaten half a length.
“Both of her runs down here have bene very good…she hasn’t had a lot of luck,” the winning trainer said.
Nothing was finishing in front of her today however with Hugh Bowman replacing Jim Cassidy and giving her a gem of a ride, the filly charging out of the gates before switching off early with the reserved energy to storm home down the outside to hit the front 100m from home.
It was Bowman’s ability to get Amicus to switch off that allowed her to win according to Waller, the peach of a ride producing a straightforward win that dramatically improved her value as a broodmare.
“Hugie backed himself…managed to get her to switch off so beautifully,” he said.
“Saving the energy was key over that last 50 metres that’s for sure.”
On the line Amicus ($10) held off the on-speed Tony Gollan-trained Traveston Girl ($17), fourth in the Thousand Guineas Prelude last time out beaten only 1.3 lengths, who came across from a wide barrier 11 draw to lead throughout.
Also eye-catching was third placed Group 3 winning Street Cry filly Sabatini ($21), who sat in the same position just off the front runners all the way, for Seymour training team Lee & Shannon Hope who hit the line well.
The race favourite Lumosty meanwhile went right back to last and failed to run on finishing at the back of the pack.
“I won a maiden on her back in the autumn and straight away I said to Chris I think she’s stakes’ class,” Bowman said post-win.
“Today she jumped well and I pushed forward from a wide barrier.
“She was too strong.
“Chris has been smart enough to bring her down and give her a couple of runs and it was probably the ingredient she needed to win today.”
Waller said immediate plans were to get a good feed and some extra pats for today’s Thousand Guineas winner before deciding where to next.
Options include turning her out for a freshen-up before an autumn return in 2015, or pressing ahead in Melbourne going towards the $1 million Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) at Flemington on November 6.
If Waller did opt for the 2014 Crown Oaks option then Amicus’s next start would likely be in the $300,000 Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) on Victoria Derby Day, November 1, also held at Flemington.
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2014 Thousand Guineas Results & Finishing Order
Caulfield Race 8 – 11/10/2014
|1||5||AMICUS||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||–||9||55.5kg||$10|
|2||7||TRAVESTON GIRL||Tony Gollan||Damian Browne||0.75L||10||55.5kg||$15|
|3||4||SABATINI||Lee & Shannon Hope||James McDonald||0.95L||2||55.5kg||$19|
|4||1||BRING ME THE MAID||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||1.05L||4||55.5kg||$9|
|5||8||TAHNI DANCER||Clinton McDonald||Nicholas Hall||2.05L||5||55.5kg||$20|
|6||11||GO JENNIO||Darren Weir||Brad Rawiller||2.25L||3||55.5kg||$101|
|7||2||GO INDY GO||Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas||Steven Arnold||3.25L||6||55.5kg||$5|
|8||6||LUMOSTY||Robert Smerdon||Craig Williams||3.35L||7||55.5kg||$2.80F|
|9||3||AFLEET ESPRIT||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Damien Oliver||4.1L||1||55.5kg||$6|
|10||9||PICKIN’ TIME||Mark Kavanagh||Glen Boss||4.5L||8||55.5kg||$31|
|–||10||HIGH ABOVE||Anthony Cummings||Mark Zahra||–||0||–||–|