One-time Godolphin-owned Golden Slipper favourite Ottoman missed the kick in the Percy Sykes Stakes 2015 on Queen Elizabeth Stakes Day but fought back for a narrow win over her stablemate Calaverite in the duo’s final autumn run.
Trainer John O’Shea confirmed both Exceed And Excel filly Ottoman and the stable’s dual black-type winning daughter of Lonhro Calaverite would head to the paddock tomorrow after running the quinella in the lucrative $500,000 Group 3 Girvan Waugh Percy Sykes Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick.
The fourth race on Day 2 of The Championships, the Percy Sykes Stakes finish featured two fillies donning the Godolphin blue fighting it out for first and second.
By the bob of a head in a terrific conclusion to the two-year-old fillies’ feature of the day it was Ottoman and jockey Sam Clipperton who, despite missing the jump to find themselves last early in the race, fought back to get the bikkies.
“She’s always a little bit tardy away which is frustrating because there’s no reason for it,” Clipperton said.
“Lucky today we drew a good gate and I was able to rail up into a good position.”
Eventual runner-up Calaverite, ridden by James McDonald, went forward to lead from Serenade who strode up into second while Gai Waterhouse’s market mover Sempre Libera got back in third with cover.
After the slow start Ottoman was quickly on the improve moving into fourth with race favourite Lake Geneva, the Blue Diamond Stakes and Golden Slipper third placegetter, racing closer in third as Sempre Libera fell back.
On the turn for home Lake Geneva had Sempre Libera locked into a pocket behind her while Calaverite was just in front and Ottoman charging down the outside.
It was three across over the final stages but Ottoman was able to kick back on the rails in a very close finish with a photo for all the placings to win narrowly over her stablemate.
“She had a few fighters on her hands the last hundred but she really pinged her ears back, had a go and won well,” Clipperton said.
Ottoman may have done everything wrong, including racing keenly and fighting the jockey in the run not settling, but she showed the ability to fight back and bag the black type in her first run since crossing ninth in the $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) on March 21.
“It’s a nice thrill,” Clipperton added.
“Godolphin has been a great supporter of mine over the past six to eight months.
“They’ve given me a lot of big opportunities and it’s good to repay them with this win.”
O’Shea was quick to throw the credit back to Clipperton and his ride in the Percy Sykes.
“He’s a credit to himself,” he said.
“He fits into our team beautifully.”
As for Ottoman, once she matures and settles she should grow to be even better with a race like the spring’s Thousand Guineas over the mile in Melbourne beckoning.
“This filly has been a talent all along so it’s really nice to get the win today,” O’Shea added.
“It’s straight to the paddock tomorrow (for both of them).”
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2015 Percy Sykes Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Randwick Race 4 – 11/04/2015
|1||3||OTTOMAN||John O’Shea||Sam Clipperton||–||2||54kg||$11|
|2||1||CALAVERITE||John O’Shea||James McDonald||0.1L||5||55.5kg||$5.50|
|3||2||LAKE GENEVA||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tommy Berry||0.2L||6||54kg||$2.80F|
|4||9||SEMPRE LIBERA||Gai Waterhouse||Joao Moreira||0.4L||3||54kg||$4|
|5||4||SERENADE||Michael Moroney||Craig Williams||1.4L||1||54kg||$8|
|6||5||MINE TWO||Garry Frazer||Jason Collett||1.5L||7||54kg||$14|
|7||8||CARTIER ROCK||Gerald Ryan||Brenton Avdulla||1.7L||4||54kg||$31|
|–||7||DENPURR||Peter & Paul Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||–||0||–||–|
|–||6||PERIGNON||Gerald Ryan||Tommy Berry||–||0||–||–|