Popular trainer Gai Waterhouse has saddled an impressive black type quinella at Royal Randwick this afternoon as talented filly Speak Fondly mustered an impressive turn of foot in the final straight to take out the Group 2 Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m) from stable mate Kimberley Star.
Speak Fondly was charged with carrying a 3kgs penalty as a former Group 2 winner, but was offered a great chance to find ideal running position early in the Silver Shadow Stakes after drawing the ideal barrier 1.
Jumping well, jockey Kerrin McEvoy immediately led the Northern Meteor filly to the fore of the small field of six; setting a break neck speed alongside the Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Kangarilla Joy away from the gates and towards the bend.
Rounding onto the final straight on the rails and with a clear racing line, Speak Fondly immediately responded when asked for an extra effort by McEvoy and charged clear of her rivals; opening a healthy gap and finishing a length and a half clear of Kimberley Stakes; consistent filly Lake Geneva maintaining a strong-enough run for third, though fading late.
In taking out the 2015 Silver Shadow Stakes, Speak Fondly has now posted two wins and as many minors through only five competitive starts; impressively both at Group 2 level having comfortably taken out the Magic Night Stakes (1200m) during the recent Sydney Autumn Carnival.
The second-placed Kimberley Star undoubtedly faced her biggest task to date in this afternoon’s Silver Shadow Stakes, but more than proved she was up to the class with the impressive performance.
Having returned this time for fourth in the Australian Jewellers Liquidators Plate (1100m) at Randwick on June sixth, the Star Witness filly ran third in the McGrath Estate Agents Maiden (1100m) on June 24th before winning each of her next three starts leading into this afternoon’s black type.
Lake Geneva was backed into favouritism in 2015 Silver Shadow Stakes betting markets leading into jump, but was unable to match the late pace of the Gai Waterhouse paid.
A standout for Team Hawkes in autumn, the Fastnet Rock filly ran a credible third in each of the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) and Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) most notably.
Having been set for the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens in two weeks, Speak Fondly remains at a particularly generous quote of $17 for success in the 2015 Thousand Guineas betting markets with Ladbrokes.com.au.
2015 Silver Shadow Stakes Results
|1||1||SPEAK FONDLY||Gai Waterhouse||Kerrin McEvoy||–||1||57kg||$5|
|2||4||KIMBERLEY STAR||Gai Waterhouse||Tim Clark||1.3L||5||54kg||$3.10|
|3||3||LAKE GENEVA||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tommy Berry||4.1L||3||54kg||$2.80F|
|4||5||ITALY||John O’Shea||Glen Boss||5.1L||6||54kg||$10|
|5||2||FIREWORKS||Gerald Ryan||Brenton Avdulla||6.4L||2||56kg||$13|
|6||6||KANGARILLA JOY||Peter & Paul Snowden||Christian Reith||6.5L||4||54kg||$11|