The John O’Shea-trained filly Calliope pulled off the impossible at Royal Randwick on Epsom Handicap Day giving away a four length start missing the kick in the Gimcrack Stakes 2015 before coming back to blitz her race debut.
A daughter of ace sire Exceed And Excel, Callipoe showed her greenness uncharacteristically missing the jump in the $150,000 Listed Keeneland Gimcrack Stakes (1000m) in her maiden start for the Godolphin stable.
Jockey James McDonald maintained his composure however and the odds-on favourite, winner by four lengths in a sharp barrier trail at the track on September 21, atoned for her poor start and made up all the metres and then some to win running away.
With the favourite last out of the barriers, the front running in the Gimcrack this Sydney Spring Racing Carnival was taken up by the John Thompson-trained Candela ridden by Zac Purton from the second outside gate.
Rather Sweet raced up into second early ahead of a stablemate to the favourite Angharad, ridden by Brazilian hoope Joao Moreira for her debut.
Candela held the lead round the corner into the straight, nursed up by Purton who surely fancied his ride a winning hope as they raced towards the line.
Slumber Party was quickly making up ground on the inside though before the real challengers came with the Kris Lees-trained Twist Tops and the top fancy Calliope racing hard and fast down the outside.
Twist Tops simply couldn’t match the finishing speed of Calliope ($1.95) who roared away, coming back after giving her rivals the massive start to beat home Paul Perry’s impressive Newcastle-trained Beneteau filly Jeanneau ($13), second to Twist Top in her lead-up trial, by two lengths.
Finishing off the Gimcrack Stakes trifecta in third was Slumber Party ($13) whose jockey Tommy Berry put her in the mix making up the ground along the rails over the final stages.
While she missed out on a place Angharad was also very impressive hitting the line strongly with improvement to come.
Calliope showed plenty of depth with her Gimcrack Stakes win, looking as dominant as the Team Snowden-trained winner of the Breeders’ Plate in the first Capitalist, maybe even more so despite the slower time run by the fillies.
On the turn for home she had to switch course dramatically losing a bit of her balance, but able to regather herself Calliope flew home in an incredible performance that impressed winning hoop McDonald who said missing the jump proved a “blessing in disguise”.
Representing the filly’s connections, Henry Plumptre described her as “a very good filly with a lot of talent”, and said he was never really worried after she missed the jump having full confidence in McDonald.
Trainer O’Shea confirmed plans to now send the filly to the paddock for a spell before coming back to target the major Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival juvenile races including the $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens.
“A real great talent,” he said of her.
“She’s got a lot of quality about her and she’s been a beautiful filly form day one.
“Hopefully she has a good spell now and comes out in the autumn in the mix for all the majors.
“I think she’s done a great job (today).
“Hopefully she’ll improve a bit coming through next year.”
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2015 Gimcrack Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Randwick Race 2 – 03/10/2015
|1||4||CALLIOPE||John O’Shea||James McDonald||–||7||56kg||$1.90F|
|2||8||JEANNEAU||Paul Perry||Blake Shinn||1.8L||5||56kg||$12|
|3||13||SLUMBER PARTY||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||2.8L||4||56kg||$13|
|4||14||TWIST TOPS||Kris Lees||Brenton Avdulla||2.9L||14||56kg||$6.50|
|5||10||OVERREACTIVE||Gai Waterhouse||Glen Boss||3.8L||6||56kg||$21|
|6||2||ALLUVION||Scott Singleton||Christian Reith||4L||10||56kg||$31|
|7||5||CANDELA||John P Thompson||Zac Purton||5.1L||13||56kg||$41|
|8||12||ROYAL ANGEL||James Cummings||Hugh Bowman||5.3L||12||56kg||$41|
|9||3||ANGHARAD||John O’Shea||Joao Moreira||6.2L||3||56kg||$19|
|10||15||BLISS POINT||Clarry Conners||Craig Williams||6.8L||11||56kg||$151|
|11||11||RATHER SWEET||Gary Nickson||Jason Collett||8L||1||56kg||$41|
|12||16||PANDEIA||Gregory Hickman||Ms Winona Costin (a)||8.2L||2||56kg||$41|
|13||7||DIVAJEU||Cheryl Roberts||Tim Clark||10.1L||8||56kg||$31|
|14||6||DESIRABLE MISS||Bjorn Baker||Michael Walker||20.7L||9||56kg||$20|
|–||18||CONCHITA||Paul Perry||Thomas Huet||–||0||–||–|
|–||17||MUM’S THE WORD||Scott Singleton||–||–||0||–||–|
|–||1||ALBERT’S LASS||Brett Thompson||Ms Winona Costin (a)||–||0||–||–|
|–||9||MILBO||Rick Worthington||Jim Cassidy||–||0||–||–|