Robert Smerdon’s in-form mare Politeness finally broke through with her maiden Group 1 win at start number 26 and gave her trainer his first ever Victoria Derby Day winner with a strong performance in the Myer Classic 2015 at Flemington.
A winner of $600,000 before her victory in this spring’s $500,000 Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m), Street Sense five-year-old Politeness was hit-and-miss last campaign with lots of unplaced runs at the end of her autumn – winter prep.
Since coming back in September however she has been in flying form winning both of her lead-ups into the Derby Day elite level with victory in the Group 3 How Now Stakes (1200m) and Group 3 Northwood Plume Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield.
Mark Zahra was aboard for both of those wins but missed her Group 1 victory due to suspension, paving the way for Dwayne Dunn to jump aboard for the Myer Classic upset.
On a mission from deep out early in the mile feature for fillies and mares was the Gerald Ryan-trained Solicit who worked from barrier 13 of 15 to take up the lead.
After playing up in the barriers, the Danny O’Brien-trained last start Group 3 Ladies Day Vase (1600m) winner Miss Rose De Lago kicked up on the inside keeping her position on the fence to quickly take the front running off Solicit.
One of the best out of the barriers, Vergara settled on the fence in third with Jessy Belle fourth on her outside and the sole three-year-old in the mix out the break a hoodoo of fillies in the race Stay With Me going right back to last.
Around the bend a fired-up Solicit moved up and went to a narrow lead before a host of runners who had sat just off the pace started to come on and put down the challenge.
On the straight Politeness and Dunn, who survived a protest in Race 5 to give trainer Gai Waterhouse another Melbourne Cup runner with a Lexus Stakes win aboard Excess Knowledge, joined in.
She raced ahead to lead 200m from the line sitting ahead of the Lee & Shannon Hope-trained High Chaparral four-year-old Fenway who wasn’t going down without a fight.
In the end Politeness ($21) drew away and proved too good, beating home Group 2 Stock Stakes winner over the distance two back Fenway ($21) by around a half-length.
The run of the race though went to the Ciaron Maher-trained, Luke Currie-ridden Shinko King four-year-old Azkadellia ($12).
Coming off a second in the Group 3 Tesio Stakes (1600m) at the Valley seven days earlier, Azkadellia was back out last before moving into third to finish off the Myer Classic trifecta.
It was the first time in eight runs at Flemington Politeness was first to the line, the mare having finished third in just one of her previous seven starts at the famous Victorian course.
The Myer Classic result was also her maiden top three finish over the mile, Dunn doing an excellent job to get her from three deep to make up ground down the middle of the track and go on to win.
“Our plan was to get back and get on the rail but that wasn’t an option,” he explained after the success.
“She got there a little bit too early but travelled up really well.
“A good mare in form is hard to beat.
“There was a question mark at the trip today, but she’d won over 1500m at Sandown and was solid as a rock.”
Smerdon was thrilled to break his Derby Day maiden for such a deserving horse and for owner Phil Sly, the Myer Classic win making Politeness a very valuable broodmare prospect in the future.
“It’s a tough day to have a competitive horse,” he said.
“It’s taken a while to get through with a horse like this.
“She’s won five Group 3 races and the only way her long term value was going to increase was to win at Group 1 level, so we made this race our target.
“It has certainly been a target race for her her whole preparation.”
Punters that backed the Myer Classic winner at Ladbrokes.com.au at Best Tote or SP + 20% enjoyed a juicy $23.80 price on Politeness.
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2015 Myer Classic Results & Finishing Order
Flemington Race 8 – 31/10/2015
|1||5||POLITENESS||Robert Smerdon||Dwayne Dunn||–||10||57kg||$19|
|2||12||FENWAY||Lee & Shannon Hope||James McDonald||0.75L||12||56.5kg||$26|
|3||14||AZKADELLIA (NZ)||Ciaron Maher||Luke Currie||0.95L||6||56.5kg||$11|
|4||3||MAY’S DREAM||Darren Weir||Damian Lane||1.45L||7||57kg||$15|
|5||11||AMICUS||Chris Waller||Blake Shinn||2.2L||11||56.5kg||$26|
|6||15||STAY WITH ME||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Sam Clipperton||2.5L||15||49kg (cd 49.5kg)||$6|
|7||6||JESSY BELLE||Luke Oliver||Craig Williams||2.6L||14||57kg||$26|
|8||2||SOLICIT||Gerald Ryan||Brenton Avdulla||2.8L||13||57kg||$19|
|9||8||ATLANTIS DREAM (NZ)||Darren Weir||Brad Rawiller||3.55L||4||57kg||$31|
|10||9||ABIDEWITHME (NZ)||Peter G Moody||Damien Oliver||4.3L||1||57kg||$11|
|10||13||SLIGHTLY SWEET||Jason Coyle||Tommy Berry||4.3L||9||56.5kg||$17|
|12||7||LA PASSE||Darren Weir||Ms Michelle Payne||4.5L||3||57kg||$20|
|13||1||ROYAL DESCENT||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||4.6L||5||57kg||$3.80F|
|14||10||VERGARA||Anthony Cummings||Ben Melham||7.85L||8||57kg||$101|
|15||4||MISS ROSE DE LAGO||Danny O’Brien||Opie Bosson||12.85L||2||57kg||$9.50|