13 two-year-old fillies ran over 1200 metres at Rosehill this afternoon in the Group 2 Magic Night Stakes, their final chance at earning a place in the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) field next Saturday.
John O’Shea’s Italy missed the start while race favourite Always Allison was third last after jumping. Thorsborne took up the lead followed by Speak Fondly, Carriages, and Igraine.
The Gai Waterhouse-trained Speak Fondly went to another gear rounding the turn for home, getting up the outside of Thorsborne and racing past to take the lead. Perignon came up the outside and dove on the line but Speak Fondly held on to win her maiden in the 2015 Magic Night Stakes.
She just kept on fighting and despite giving her rivals plenty of opportunity to beat her in the closing moments, the filly simply couldn’t get run down, winning a short half-head from Perignon with Italy just a long neck away in third.
It was a an unlucky run for Italy, who after missing the start got caught up in the wrong part of the track, however she did well to score a minor placing.
Gai Waterhouse was reluctant to confirm a 2015 Golden Slipper start for Speak Fondly but did reveal the Group 3 Percy Sykes Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 11 was the alternative.
“I will ask Monica and see if she wants to start her next week,” the trainer said.
“She has spring form, she was third in the Gimcrack and is now a winner of the Group 2 race today.
“She is a very special filly and if (she does not run in the Golden Slipper) she will go to the Percy Sykes.”
Tommy Berry delivered the winning ride on Speak Fondly, his second win of the day after winning a Benchmark 80 with Himalaya Dream.
“She reminds me of a mare called Sweet Idea,” Berry said of the filly.
“She can do that early work and little sticks out at the end.
“I don’t think she will ever win by a big margin, but she is a fighter and she showed the ability that she has today.
“I was very surprised with how she pulled up following a tough run and she pulled up like she hadn’t gone around.
“She copes her work very well and I don’t think the back-up will hurt her at all.”
Berry will not be partnering Speak Fondly if she lines up in the Golden Slipper since he’s already promised to Vancouver.
Punters who backed the filly at Ladbrokes.com.au enjoyed a payout of $5.
2015 Magic Night Stakes Race Results & Finishing Order
|1||6||SPEAK FONDLY||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||–||11||55.5kg||$4.60|
|2||3||PERIGNON||Gerald Ryan||Brenton Avdulla||0.1L||9||55.5kg||$9|
|3||7||ITALY||John O’Shea||James McDonald||0.3L||8||55.5kg||$6.50|
|4||4||SERENADE||Michael Moroney||Kerrin McEvoy||0.7L||7||55.5kg||$14|
|5||5||LOOK TO THE STARS||Clarry Conners||Blake Shinn||0.8L||5||55.5kg||$20|
|6||9||IGRAINE||John O’Shea||William Buick||1.3L||6||55.5kg||$17|
|7||1||ALWAYS ALLISON||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||3.1L||10||55.5kg||$3F|
|8||12||MOWGLI||Clarry Conners||Sam Clipperton||3.3L||12||55.5kg||$9.50|
|9||14||RED SILHOUETTE (NZ)||Tony Noonan||Tye Angland||3.4L||4||55.5kg||$101|
|10||13||HEAVENLY HAND||Gerald Ryan||Paul Hammersley||4.2L||13||55.5kg||$151|
|11||11||THORSBORNE||Gerald Ryan||Timothy Bell||5L||1||55.5kg||$31|
|12||8||RIGHT OF WAY||Gai Waterhouse||Tim Clark||6.9L||3||55.5kg||$61|
|13||2||CARRIAGES||Gai Waterhouse||Jim Cassidy||8.9L||2||55.5kg||$17|
|–||10||RACY||Gary Portelli||Ms Winona Costin (a)||–||0||–||–|