Newcastle’s Kris Lees is now chasing qualification for the 2016 Golden Slipper Stakes in April with his improving filly Twist Tops after her Inglis Classic win in Sydney over the weekend.
The two-year-old daughter of Beneteau kept the dream alive for a run in the $3.5 million Group 1 Longines Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 19 with a quarter-length win over Soviet Secret in the $250,000 Inglis Classic (1200m).
Ridden by Tommy Berry, Twist Tops ($4.60) came off a first-up second to Scarlet Rain over 1000m at the track from January 23.
Best known for her fourth to Calliope on debut last October in the Listed Gimcrack Stakes (1000m), Twist Tops ($4.60) overcame her wide barrier 10 of 16 draw to beat home the Sam Pritchard-Gordon-trained Soviet Secret ($4.60) while roughie shot Can’t Find Snippy ($101) finished a close third.
“She is going to have to improve but one thing about this filly is she is very tough,” Lees said of his Inglis Classic winner post-race on Saturday.
“We will try her in one of the fillies’ lead-up races to see if she can qualify (for the Golden Slipper).”
To date Lees only runner in the world’s richest race for juveniles was Elimbari who finished dead last behind Crystal Lily in the 2010 Golden Slipper.
He failed to get former star filly Samantha Miss qualified in time for the race two years earlier, but hopes history won’t repeat itself with Twist Tops.
“That proved a blessing in disguise because Samantha Miss came out and won the Champagne Stakes,” Lees explained to The Daily Telegraph.
“This was the race we set Twist Tops for and it is a very pleasing result to get the win.
“She is only a little filly but she had the right foundation for this race. I think having that lead-up run (second to Scarlet Rain) at Randwick two weeks ago on heavy ground stood her in good stead today.”
Possible lead-up Golden Slipper Stakes qualifying races for Twist Tops include the $175,000 Group 2 Sweet Embrace Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on February 27 and or the $300,000 Group 2 Reisling Stakes (1200m) on Randwick Guineas Day, March 5.
To date Twist Tops has secured $178,000 in total prize money, and Lees maintains that her record should read better than it does after her luckless unplaced runs at the start of her career.
“She drew a wide barrier in the Gimcrack Stakes and did well to run fourth then she pulled up with heart arrhythmia at Moonee Valley,” he said.
Dual Golden Slipper winning hoop Berry who rode both Overreach (2013) and Vancouver (2015) to victory for the race’s most successful trainer Gai Waterhouse, was also thrilled with the Inglis Classic performance of Twist Tops.
“Twist Tops is not the best filly out there but she is the toughest I’ve ridden so far,” he said on Saturday.
“She was there to be beaten today and at the 100m I thought they would get her but she is so tough and wouldn’t let them get by her. She is a progressive filly so who knows how she can go.”
Gold Coast 2YO Magic Millions Classic winner Capitalist continues to lead the all-in Golden Slipper Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $4 just ahead of 2016 Blue Diamond Stakes favourite Extreme Choice ($6.50).
Twist Tops can be found further down the futures Golden Slipper Stakes betting markets at $21 to join Overreach (2013) and Mossfun (2014) as recent fillies to beat home the colts and geldings in the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival classic.
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2016 Inglis Classic Results
Randwick Race 5 – 06/02/2016
|1||11||TWIST TOPS||Kris Lees||Tommy Berry||–||10||54.5kg||$4.60|
|2||12||SOVIET SECRET||Sam Pritchard-Gordon||James McDonald||0.3L||12||54.5kg||$4.60|
|3||13||CAN’T FIND SNIPPY||Bede Murray||Andrew Adkins (a/50kg)||0.6L||8||54.5kg||$101|
|4||4||COGLIERE||Marc Quinn||Hugh Bowman||1.5L||13||56.5kg||$21|
|5||3||WALK RIGHT IN||Paul Perry||Christian Reith||2.1L||14||56.5kg||$8.50|
|6||16||OUR BELISA||John P Thompson||Brodie Loy (a/52kg)||4.1L||7||54.5kg||$81|
|7||10||WONDERFUL STORY||Chris Waller||Tim Clark||7.2L||9||56.5kg||$4.40|
|8||1||RAMPAGE||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Blake Shinn||8L||1||56.5kg||$8|
|9||6||MAN TO LOVE||Louis Baudron||Tye Angland||8.1L||11||56.5kg||$19|
|10||5||ENGAGING||Gary Nickson||Brenton Avdulla||11L||15||56.5kg||$61|
|11||15||MADDISON AVENUE||Marc Conners||Ms Kathy O’Hara||12.3L||6||54.5kg||$101|
|12||2||RAFHA’S CHOICE||Bede Murray||Jason Collett||13.5L||4||56.5kg||$13|
|13||7||FLASH FIBIAN||Bede Murray||Robert Thompson||14.2L||5||56.5kg||$101|
|14||17||DREAM FAITH||Gregory Hickman||Ms Winona Costin (a/50kg)||22.4L||2||54.5kg||$101|
|15||9||CHINA PLATE||Michael Costa||Sam Clipperton||22.6L||16||56.5kg||$81|
|16||8||CHIMBORAA||David Payne||Koby Jennings (a/56kg)||26.3L||3||56.5kg||$31|