11 fillies and mares tackled the Group 3 Epona Stakes (1900m) at Rosehill this afternoon with odds-on favourite Rising Romance being usurped by roughie Scratchy Bottom in the final moments.
Telepathic was away well while Adorabeel and Rising Romance settled behind the leaders – Role Model, Inishowen and Sabor A Triunfo.
Role Model kept up a genuine pace, hacking the field in the lead. With 400 metres left to run, the Donna Logan-trained favourite was given a chance while Telepathic drew alongside in front with the two battling to the line.
Michael Kent’s Scratchy Bottom joined the duo late after jockey Craig Williams gave a great split, riding right down low, putting his hands over the mare’s eyes and ears. The four-year-old won a head from Rising Romance with Telepathic a further head away in third.
“She’s really quite a good horse, we were just trying to get her to the trip” the trainer said.
“Her form beyond a mile is really good. We picked this race out a while ago, I was hoping for some soft ground but Craig rode her well and just bobbed on the line.”
It was a great training performance from Kent, getting the mare to the winner’s circle after running last in the Group 3 Tressady Stakes (1400m) on March 7. However the 1400 metres was an unsuitable distance for Scratchy Bottom, who really came into it after crossing the line, which helped Kent decide to send her to the 2015 Epona Stakes.
“She ran the same last 600 metres as the winner [in the Tressady], sat last and stayed there but we are really pleased with how she’s been going, she just wants the trip,” Kent said.
“It’s not easy to find a mare’s race with a bit of ground over it.
“She’s a beautiful mare and I can’t wait to get her to a mile and a half, that’s where I think her forte is.
“We might run in the Chairman’s or might have a rethink about where we go. The most important thing was to get a stakes win for her and we’ve done that so we’ll have a think about the next step now.
“Maybe Brisbane. We’ll just see how she pulls up.”
Punters who backed Scratchy Bottom to win the 2015 Epona Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au had a massive win with odds of $31. The mare may next be seen running in the Group 2 Chairman’s Handicap (2600m) at Randwick on April 4.
2015 Epona Stakes Race Results & Finishing Order
|1||8||SCRATCHY BOTTOM||Michael Kent||Craig Williams||–||7||54kg||$31|
|2||1||RISING ROMANCE (NZ)||Donna Logan||James McDonald||0.2L||2||59kg||$2F|
|3||6||TELEPATHIC (NZ)||Chris Waller||Glen Boss||0.4L||5||54kg||$5|
|4||4||INTIMATE MOMENT (NZ)||Chris Waller||Kerrin McEvoy||0.5L||10||56kg||$13|
|5||3||ADORABEEL (NZ)||Joseph Pride||Sam Clipperton||1.7L||1||56kg||$16|
|6||10||INISHOWEN||Lee & Anthony Freedman||Brenton Avdulla||1.8L||3||54kg||$26|
|7||5||ORIENTAL LADY (GER)||Kris Lees||Chad Schofield||1.9L||9||54kg||$61|
|8||7||ENTERTAINS||John O’Shea||William Buick||2L||4||54kg||$10|
|9||9||ROLE MODEL (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Tim Clark||2.6L||8||54kg||$12|
|10||2||SABOR A TRIUNFO (CHI)||Peter & Paul Snowden||Hugh Bowman||3.1L||6||59kg||$51|
|11||11||JIAYUGUAN (IRE)||John P Thompson||Tommy Berry||4.5L||11||54kg||$26|