Sydney trainer Rick Worthington finally had something to smile about on Saturday with his smart filly Honesty Prevails running a nice early Golden Slipper trial winning the 2016 Widden Stakes on debut at Rosehill Racecourse.
The daughter of Redoute’s Choice came off back-to-back summer Randwick trial wins, the latest a four length romp over 1050m from January 12, into the $150,000 Group 3 Widden Stakes (1100m) on Expressway Stakes Day.
It has been a tough haul for Worthington in recent years battling through cancer and a marriage breakdown, but the commanding successful first-up win by his promising filly was just what he needed.
“When you’re on your way back from oblivion it means a helluva lot,” he told the media post-win on Saturday.
“She’s still very raw and I know I don’t have many horses in work, but I’ve had a lot of good horses to know a decent horse when I have one.
“This means a lot.”
Ridden by Jason Collett, Honesty Prevails won the Widden Stakes in 1:05.73, a very smart time considering the Soft (7) track condition and the fact it was faster than Godolphin’s Canonbury Stakes winning colt Tessera (1:06.08) the race before.
“I said to Jason when I was legging him on if she handles the going she will beat these,” Worthington added.
“I said that privately to him, but they were my thoughts. I’m just so happy because the filly has done such an amazing job to get here.”
On the line the Widden Stakes winner, who jumped at a $4.80 starting price, had two and a quarter lengths over the James Cummings-trained Smart Amelia ($16) who was also on debut.
John O’Shea’s improving daughter of 2011 Golden Slipper winner Sepoy, Chipanda ($11) finished off the trifecta just a nose further back for third edging out her stablemate Nonpareil ($17) in fourth.
Winning Widden Stakes hoop Collett now has a number of livewire chances heading into the Golden Slipper, also associated with David Vandyke’s undefeated daughter of All American Yankee Rose.
“It’s good and there’s a couple of nice horses that I’ve ridden heading that way,” he told The Sydney Morning Herald.
“She’s (Honesty Prevails) destroyed them by two-and-a-bit lengths and they’re some of the better ones. Obviously we’ve still got another crop to come in the lead up, but she’s very smart.”
Yankee Rose hasn’t run since her Golden Gift win at Rosehill last November and pays $15 in the all-in Golden Slipper Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au that are led by the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Magic Millions Classic champion Capitalist ($3.60).
Honesty Prevails meanwhile is equal $13 third favourite in the futures Golden Slipper betting markets, equal with Godolphin’s Exceed And Excel filly Calliope who won the Listed Gimcrack Stakes (1000m) last October on debut.
Capitalist’s highly-spruiked stablemate Defcon went down on debut when runner-up in the Canonbury Stakes, but co-trainer Peter Snowden was confident he would improve off the run fitness-wise.
“Nothing will change,” he said regarding the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival campaign of the Choisir colt who remains a $16 Golden Slipper chance.
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2016 Widden Stakes Results
Rosehill Race 4 – 30/01/2016
|1||10||HONESTY PREVAILS||Rick Worthington||Jason Collett||–||7||54.5kg||$4.80|
|2||12||SMART AMELIA||James Cummings||Christian Reith||2.3L||3||54.5kg||$16|
|3||5||CHIPANDA||John O’Shea||James McDonald||2.5L||5||54.5kg||$11|
|4||11||NONPAREIL||John O’Shea||Sam Clipperton||2.7L||1||54.5kg||$17|
|5||8||FOXPLAY||Chris Waller||Robert Thompson||2.9L||4||54.5kg||$17|
|6||13||SPRIGHT||Garry Frazer||Lester Grace (a)||3L||6||54.5kg||$31|
|7||3||KENTUCKY MISS||Joseph Pride||Brenton Avdulla||3.7L||11||54.5kg||$4.60|
|8||1||SO SERENE||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||5.7L||8||54.5kg||$3.20F|
|9||7||HAPPY FEET||Clarry Conners||Ms Winona Costin (a)||11.4L||2||54.5kg||$51|
|10||6||VIXEN LASS||Tammy Boyd||Ms Kathy O’Hara||15.2L||10||54.5kg||$71|
|11||4||AGHNA||Gabrielle Englebrecht||Tye Angland||20.5L||9||54.5kg||$10|
|–||9||GLOBAL GLAMOUR||Gai Waterhouse||Tim Clark||–||0||–||–|
|–||2||CUDABEEN||Tracey Bartley||Grant Buckley||–||0||–||–|