The David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained New Zealand filly Risque brought her winning from down under in her Australian race debut at Caulfield Racecourse on CF Orr Stakes Day with an impressive win in the Kevin Hayes Stakes on way to the Australian Guineas 2016.
Co-trainer David Hayes named the $750,000 Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 5 against the boys as the first Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival major the stable had in mind for the imported daughter of Darci Brahma.
Back in New Zealand the filly won four of her five seven starts including the Group 1 NZ Thousand Guineas (1600m) in mid-November.
In her first run since and maiden assignment for her new trainers, Risque jumped second favourite in Saturday’s $150,000 Group 3 Kevin Hayes Stakes (1200m) after drifting out in the markets on race day.
It was a hot pace set by the runaway leader The Big Dance, who eventually crossed four lengths away fifth, and jockey Damian Lane had Risque settled back off the pace.
Having been sharp in recent jump-outs Lane originally thought his filly would be sitting closer on the pace, and Hayes and connections were looking worried 600m out when Risque still had work to do to close the gap on the likes of the John Thompson-trained favourite Mossin’ Around backing up from an Inglis Dash second and the Team Hawkes-trained Fastnet Rock filly Cana.
But as The Big Dance tired, Lane had Risque ($3.60) peeling wide round the outside running on to sweep home and storm to a big finish over the closing 50m.
On the line she had a quarter-length to spare over the Mark Zahra’s mount Mossin’ Around ($2.70F) with Cana ($6.50) a further length away third with Glen Boss in the saddle.
“I really like her, she’s the real deal,” winning hoop Lane said after the victory.
“She closed well.”
Hayes was thrilled with the win and was hoping Risque proved competitive enough to take on the boys in next month’s Australian Guineas as she looked to join Shamrocker (2011) and Mosheen (2012) as the only fillies to win the race in over 30 years.
“I really think she is (an exceptional filly),” he said.
“She’s been running exceptional times at Lindsay Park.
“I would say the Australian Guineas is the race we’re looking at.
“We’ll see how she pulls up but she’s got such a big stride, she loves Flemington and she’s proven over a mile so I think we’re on the right leg.”
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2016 Kevin Hayes Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Caulfield Race 2 – 13/02/2016
|1||2||RISQUE (NZ)||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Damian Lane||–||2||57kg||$3.60|
|2||5||MOSSIN’ AROUND||John P Thompson||Mark Zahra||0.4L||3||55kg||$2.70F|
|3||6||CANA||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Glen Boss||1.4L||8||55kg||$6.50|
|4||9||WEATHER THE STORM||Robert Kingston||Dwayne Dunn||2.4L||1||55kg||$71|
|5||3||THE BIG DANCE||Danny Curran||Harry Coffey (a)||4.15L||4||57kg||$14|
|6||4||THE GREY FLASH||Robbie Laing||Joe Bowditch||5.15L||5||57kg||$61|
|7||1||CALAVERITE||John O’Shea||Ben Melham||5.25L||9||58kg||$9.50|
|8||8||MAKE HER OWN WHEY||Shaun Dwyer||Billy Egan||6.75L||7||55kg||$26|
|9||7||SAFARIANN||Colin Little||Damien Oliver||9.25L||6||55kg||$10|