She left it late but one of Sydney’s best Gai Waterhouse made it 18 years in a row she has trained at least one Group 1 winner during the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival with the All Aged Stakes 2016 success of the Brisbane-bound English at Royal Randwick.
It was the final day of the Carnival and the last of the elite level races in Sydney until the spring, the $600,000 Group 1 Schweppes All Aged Stakes (1400m) a race Waterhouse has now won five times.
Her previous winners were All Our Mob (1997), Arlington Road (2003), Shamekha (2005) and Bentley Biscuit (2007) before her three-year-old daughter of Encosta De Lago English handed her another.
A star youngster last autumn running second in the Golden Slipper Stakes, three-year-old English returned off a year spell to win the Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m) first-up at the start of March.
A sixth in The Galaxy and last start third to Chautauqua in the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) followed before English thrived late despite there being no pace in the weight-for-age All Aged Stakes.
Jockey Sam Clipperton rode his first Group 1 winner on day one of the Carnival and enjoyed his second at the last meeting, aboard English who was the first filly to take out the All Aged Stakes since Atlantic Jewel (2012).
“What a horse,” he said post-win.
“She’s just tough. That’s amazing to be able to ride my first Group 1 winner at the official start of the carnival for Ron Quinton and my second at the last day.
“And to do it for Gai Waterhouse, it’s an absolute privilege.”
The other filly in the field, Perignon, was leading the All Aged Stakes field around after settling, while the Chris Waller-trained favourite Press Statement was caught four wide with no cover tracking fourth.
Around the turn Waller’s other runner Kermadec, who was tracking last, started to improve as English tracked four wide coming into the straight.
James McDonald had Kermadec moving up quietly, as English and Clipperton raced to the front fighting off the challenges including from the Darren Weir-trained Perth expat Black Heart Bart.
Digging deep, English ($6.50) held the older horses at bay and went on to defeat last start Victoria Handicap winner Black Heart Bart ($6), runner-up in the Newmarket Handicap two back, with Kermadec ($5) just outsprinted late crossing third.
“I think she might be at her best at Randwick,” Waterhouse said of English who puts on a bit of pre-race antics.
“When she’s on the track she’s so lovely and relaxed.
“She’s a very good filly and she’s a three-year-old against the older horses over the 1400m.
“I knew she’d run the 1400m with her eyes shut.
“That explosiveness she had as a two-year-old has transmitted itself into a filly that can run a mile.”
Waterhouse went on to confirm plans to continue on with English to Queensland’s Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival chasing success in the $750,000 Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) on May 28 and the $1.5 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 11.
“They will be beautiful races for her,” Waterhouse said.
“She’s shown today she can put the older horses to bed.”
While Waterhouse has never prepared a Doomben 10,000 winner, the last filly to get the job done was Sea Siren (2012).
The master trainer has had previous success in Queensland’s richest race though, preparing the 1994 Stradbroke winner All Our Mob who, as mentioned, was also her first All Aged Stakes champion three years later.
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2016 All Aged Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Randwick Race 7 – 16/04/2016
|1||7||ENGLISH||Gai Waterhouse||Sam Clipperton||–||7||54.5kg||$6|
|2||2||BLACK HEART BART||Darren Weir||Kerrin McEvoy||0.2L||3||59kg||$6|
|3||1||KERMADEC (NZ)||Chris Waller||James McDonald||0.7L||8||59kg||$5|
|4||3||REBEL DANE||Gary Portelli||Jason Collett||2.4L||1||59kg||$31|
|5||6||PRESS STATEMENT||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||3.3L||6||56.5kg||$3.10F|
|6||4||MALAGUERRA||Lee & Anthony Freedman||Blake Shinn||4.6L||2||59kg||$5|
|7||8||PERIGNON||Gerald Ryan||Tim Clark||10.9L||4||54.5kg||$51|
|8||5||GOLDSTREAM (ITY)||Kris Lees||Brenton Avdulla||11.2L||5||59kg||$21|