Gai Waterhouse’s fit and flying young filly Speak Fondly saluted for the punters as the race favourite in the Furious Stakes 2015 at Royal Randwick stringing together back-to-back Group 2 wins this Sydney Spring Racing Carnival.
The three-year-old daughter of ill-fated sire Northern Meteor won the Group 2 Magic Night Stakes (1200m) as a two-year-old back in the autumn before an 11th in the Golden Slipper behind stablemate Vancouver.
She was back in the winner’s stall first-up at Randwick winning the Group 2 Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m) by a length and a quarter and held an even bigger winning margin for her second-up win in the $175,000 Group 2 Coolmore Furious Stakes (1200m) on Chelmsford Stakes Day.
Boasting the fitness edge and the obvious class factor, Speak Fondly and jockey Kerrin McEvoy jumped away well from barrier eight in the nine-starter field where stablemate English was an early scratching.
McEvoy gave his filly the gun ride, letting her settle back into third behind eventual last past the post Capricious Spirit who led the field round out front.
Getting plenty of cover, Speak Fondly was tucked away well waiting to make her move on the straight.
Capricious Spirit led them into the turn when her challengers started to make their moves.
Speak Fondly ($2.50) quickly popped off the fence and broke clear with 250m left to go, really responding when McEvoy hit the button.
The John O’Shea-trained Exceed And Excel filly Ottoman ($4.80), a last start winner of the Group 3 Percy Sykes Stakes (1200m) at the track back in April, also moving up looking to turn it into a two-filly race to the line.
She couldn’t match the winner however as Speak Fondly slipped away, outsprinting all her rivals and stamping herself as a real threat in the upcoming fillies’ races with her dominant two and three quarter length victory over the Gerald Ryan-trained Perignon ($12).
Runner-up to Speak Fondly in the Magic Night Stakes as well last time out, Snitzel filly Perignon showed she had also come back well as did third past the post a further quarter-length away to finish off the Furious Stakes trifecta – Ottoman.
With the win Speak Fondly showed she could handle the 1400m no issue, and Waterhouse was quick to declare her the certain winner of the $500,000 Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) back at Randwick on October 3 should she target the mile feature for the three-year-old fillies.
“She’s too good, what an outstanding filly,” Waterhouse said.
“She will win the Flight Stakes and do exactly the same thing!”
McEvoy though wasn’t as sure the mile would suit the Furious Stakes winner.
There is still a chance Speak Fondly could take on the boys in the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) Saturday week in Sydney, but a representative from Gooree Stud that was trackside said they would leave the decision up to Waterhouse.
“She might win the Golden Rose, I’ll have to speak to the owner,” Waterhouse said.
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2015 Furious Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Randwick Race 4 – 05/09/2015
|1||5||SPEAK FONDLY||Gai Waterhouse||Kerrin McEvoy||–||5||56kg||$2.40F|
|2||8||PERIGNON||Gerald Ryan||Hugh Bowman||2.8L||1||56kg||$12|
|3||2||OTTOMAN||John O’Shea||James McDonald||3.6L||4||56kg||$4.60|
|4||3||LAKE GENEVA||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tommy Berry||5.5L||8||56kg||$12|
|5||7||FIREWORKS||Gerald Ryan||Brenton Avdulla||6.3L||3||56kg||$31|
|6||9||SERENE MAJESTY||Peter & Paul Snowden||Christian Reith||8.8L||7||56kg||$4.60|
|7||6||CALAVERITE||John O’Shea||Sam Clipperton||12.8L||9||56kg||$19|
|8||10||CAPRICIOUS SPIRIT||Morgan Butler||Ms Winona Costin (a)||15.5L||6||56kg||$101|
|9||4||LOOK TO THE STARS||Clarry Conners||Luke Tarrant (a)||16.2L||2||56kg||$31|
|–||1||ENGLISH||Gai Waterhouse||Blake Shinn||–||0||–||–|