Vergara Leads from Start to Finish in Epona Stakes

The Anthony Cummings-trained Vergara has completed an impressive start to finish performance to take out the Group 3 Epona Stakes (1900m) at Rosehill Gardens this afternoon.

Vergara was too good in the Group 3 Epona Stakes at Rosehill Gardens this afternoon. Photo: Steve Hart

Vergara was too good in the Group 3 Epona Stakes at Rosehill Gardens this afternoon. Photo: Steve Hart

Vergara was rated only an outside chance of success in the Epona Stakes but did her claims absolutely no harm when flying the barriers and immediately taking a position on pace.

Settling into a good rhythm and receiving a soft run in transit alongside the likes of All Cerise and Skyline Blush, the Snippetson mare produced a strong turn of foot to pull clear and withstand a late charge from race favourite Heavens Above and Sweet Fire.

Jockey James McDonald was a late replacement for Daniel Moor and was understandably pleased to open his 2016 Golden Slipper Day account early in the Epona Stakes.

“It was a good, tough effort and she had to do it the hard way,” McDonald said.

“I wasn’t going to pull against her because there’s no point the two of us fighting each other.

“She relaxed reasonably well down the side and she picked it up for the 600m and was tough, too good for them.”

Cummings was pleased with Vergara’s performance to win the 2016 Epona Stakes and revealed a trip to Queensland for a race like the Group 2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) in early winter will likely figure as her final racing target.

“It was a really good judge of ride by James, he took the speed out of it and it took the other main chances out of it,”

“I thought All Cerise might have put more pressure in on the first part of the race but when she sat back off us it really handed the race up to the leader and that was us.

“We’re a bit sorry for Daniel because it was his advice was she should step up to the 1900m after last time, so it’s a bit sad he couldn’t have taken the benefit.

“There’s a few nice races for her through the Randwick Carnival so we’ll have a look at that.

“It’s probably going to be her last racing season so she’ll go through into Brisbane and we’ll look at something like the Hollindale.”

Punters who backed Vergara to win the 2016 Epona Stakes with have been paid out on generous $12 odds for success!

2016 Epona Stakes Results

Finish No. Horse Trainer Jockey Margin Bar. Weight Starting Price
1 4 VERGARA Anthony Cummings James McDonald 7 55kg $12
2 2 HEAVENS ABOVE Tim Martin Tye Angland 0.2L 6 56kg $3.80F
3 6 SWEET FIRE Chris Waller Tommy Berry 0.5L 5 54kg $7
4 7 ALEGRIA John O’Shea Tim Clark 0.7L 1 54kg $8.50
5 11 PIAMIMI Greg Bennett Craig Williams 1.1L 8 54kg $41
6 10 BLENDWELL Peter G Moody Damian Lane 1.2L 10 54kg $17
7 3 ADORABEEL (NZ) Joseph Pride Sam Clipperton 2.3L 9 56kg $13
8 8 MARY LOU Anthony Cummings Jason Collett 2.7L 11 54kg $18
9 9 SKYLINE BLUSH Anthony Cummings Kerrin McEvoy 3.1L 4 54kg $9.50
10 5 ALL CERISE Chris Waller Dwayne Dunn 4.1L 3 54kg $6
11 1 GUST OF WIND (NZ) John Sargent Brenton Avdulla 7.4L 2 59kg $15


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