Sydney’s leading lady of racing Gai Waterhouse has another lovely 2015 Golden Slipper aspirant heading into the world’s richest race for two-year-olds in a fortnight following the impressive win of English in the Reisling Stakes this weekend.
The progressive daughter of Encosta De Lago jumped favourite in today’s $300,000 Group 2 Guinness Reisling Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick and showed huge improvement at just her second start.
On debut the filly won at Kembla Grange over 1000m on January 31, and she handled the big class rise in the Group 2 on Randwick Guineas Day without issue.
Jockey Blake Shinn gave her a gun ride, English settling midfield and relaxing beautifully in her first look at the 1200m with the field led around by Tibrogargan Miss and Waterhouse’s other runner in the race Giulietta.
Shinn had to get off the rails midway through the race however and his mount responded to the change of tactics beautifully when Stay With Me, who overraced and faded in the finish, pulled hard and moved up into second.
Getting a lovely trail into the final half of the Reisling on the back of the James McDonald-ridden Ottoman from the Godolphin stables, English was able to save her fuel for a powerful late burst to put them away comfortably.
Ottoman went out wide on the track and made the run from 600m out while Stay With Me hit the front.
Shinn knew he was on the Reisling Stakes winner as soon as he got into the clear with 500m left to travel however with English getting the last shot after moving outside along with Ottoman.
English ($2.70) hit the front 200m out and outsmarted them over the last few hundred metres.
On the line she had three-quarters of a length to spare over the John O’Shea-trained Ottoman ($7) who ran a terrific second with Fireworks ($9.50), a chance for a $150,000 late entry into the Golden Slipper, a fast-finishing third working well to the line.
“I was so impressed by that win,” Shinn said.
“She relaxed really nicely. I had to get off the rail and she reacted to that nicely.
“From the 500m I was supremely confident…she put them away pretty quickly.
“Once I got off (the rails) and had her in daylight, I knew I was in control.”
It was Waterhouse’s fourth Reisling Stakes win during a Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, English now a key runner heading into the $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 21.
The filly has plenty of upside, and is a work in progress with talent and a terrific turn of foot, which certainly impressed her trainer.
“This is a very, very special filly,” Waterhouse said after the win.
“She’s superbly bred.
“I can’t fault her.
“Today was her chance of saying ‘I’m a real live Slipper hope’ and she goes in (to the Golden Slipper) on her third start so it’s perfect timing.”
Shinn agreed that English, at $13 in Golden Slipper betting pre-Reisling Stakes win, was a livewire chance for the upcoming Group 1 in two weeks’ time.
“Going forward to the big race, she’s going to make herself count,” he said.
“I loved her racing pattern. She’s got a great turn of foot and she’s with the right trainer.”
Waterhouse has won five previous Golden Slippers.
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2015 Reisling Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Randwick Race 1 – 07/03/2015
|1||9||ENGLISH||Gai Waterhouse||Blake Shinn||–||3||55.5kg||$2.60F|
|2||5||OTTOMAN||John O’Shea||James McDonald||0.8L||7||55.5kg||$7|
|3||1||FIREWORKS||Gerald Ryan||Brenton Avdulla||1.1L||6||55.5kg||$9.50|
|4||2||MINE TWO||Garry Frazer||Jason Collett||1.3L||8||55.5kg||$71|
|5||8||STAY WITH ME||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Hugh Bowman||2.3L||4||55.5kg||$5.50|
|6||4||CALAVERITE||John O’Shea||Sam Clipperton||2.9L||2||55.5kg||$10|
|7||6||PERIGNON||Gerald Ryan||Kerrin McEvoy||3.4L||1||55.5kg||$11|
|8||3||TIBROGARGAN MISS||Darryl Hansen||Luke Tarrant (a)||3.6L||9||55.5kg||$11|
|9||7||GIULIETTA||Gai Waterhouse||Tim Clark||10.4L||5||55.5kg||$16|