Golden Slipper Day kicked off at Rosehill this afternoon with the Group 3 Birthday Card Stakes (1200m), which saw eight fillies and mares battle it out.
Team Hawkes’ Mossfun wore side winkers to increase her chances at winning the race after running a disappointing sixth in her first two starts this campaign. The going was slow after jumping with Mossfun leading from Ygritte, Bound For Earth, and Brook Road.
Mossfun continued to lead the field easily right up until the final 200 metres when the Bart & James Cummings-trained Shamalia raced past to win on the line. The four-year-old mare sat right where jockey Hugh Bowman wanted before going right over the top of Mossfun, who wasn’t able to hold off the challenger in the final 50 metres, coasting for most of the race.
“It’s nice to get a winner full stop,” Bowman said after kicking off the Rosehill meeting with a win.
“It’s a big day of racing here this afternoon and it’s a pleasure to be here and lovely to be on the board.
“[Mossfun] was the class horse of the field but she’s not racing to the level that we know she can and I was well aware of that. But I didn’t go out there worrying about her, I went out there to ride.”
It was a very easy win for Shamalia, who is brilliant when right. The mare ran in the 2015 Birthday Card Stakes first-up, enjoying a barrier trial at the course proper two weeks ago.
Co-trainer James Cummings was pleased with the win, revealing Shamalia will be sent towards The Championships on April 11, where she’ll likely get a start in the Group 2 Sapphire Stakes (1200m) for fillies and mares.
“She’s a special mare for us, she’s built up a really good record and we really love this horse,” Cummings said.
“She broke onto the scene with two really good wins at Randwick. She won the Fireball, beating a one-time Golden Slipper and Golden Rose favourite Sidestep that day and had a big weight put on him. Her next run was on a bottomless Gosford track in the Gosford Guineas, absolutely biblical rain that day and she finished fourth.
“It’s taken a long time to get her right since then and hopefully she can now go two weeks into a Championships race and we can make her presence felt.”
“If anyone watched her on trial they would have seen she meant business first-up. She’s got a good fresh record so we’ll just keep her ticking over.”
Shamalia was the $4.40 second favourite to win the 2015 Birthday Card Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au.
2015 Birthday Card Stakes Race Results & Finishing Order
|1||7||SHAMALIA||Bart & James Cummings||Hugh Bowman||–||7||55.5kg||$4.40|
|2||1||MOSSFUN||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tommy Berry||2L||8||58kg||$5|
|3||9||YGRITTE||Gerald Ryan||Brenton Avdulla||2.5L||2||55.5kg||$6|
|4||4||BOUND FOR EARTH||David Vandyke||Blake Shinn||2.6L||5||55.5kg||$12|
|5||5||FINE BUBBLES||Kris Lees||Jim Cassidy||3.2L||4||55.5kg||$9.50|
|6||11||ALL SALSA||Ron Quinton||Sam Clipperton||3.8L||3||55.5kg||$61|
|7||10||TAHNI DANCER||Clinton McDonald||Chad Schofield||5.2L||1||55.5kg||$16|
|8||6||BROOK ROAD||Kris Lees||James McDonald||5.5L||6||55.5kg||$4.20F|