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Ben Currie’s Toowoomba-trained mare Col ‘N’ Lil put in a real dogfight late in the Lord Mayor’s Cup 2017 to hold off the Scone Cup winner Duca Valentinois in a gutsy effort at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
A five-year-old daughter of Bradbury’s Luck, Col ‘N’ Lil enjoyed her second stakes win this campaign thanks to a perfect ride by ace Queensland jockey Jeff Lloyd in the $1250,000 Group 3 Lord Mayor’s Cup (1600m) on Kingsford-Smith Cup Day.
Back on April 8 she enjoyed a win at home in the Listed Weetwood Handicap (1200m) as a roughie shot, before a second to Single Gaze at Doomben later that month in the Listed Tails Stakes (1600m).
Last time out things went amiss when she was outclassed at the Gold Coast finishing six lengths back for last (10th) to It’s Somewhat in the Group 2 A.D. Hollindale Stakes (1800m).
Back to a mile and thriving on the Heavy-rated Eagle Farm track today, the mare returned to winning form.
“She’s always been a good mare,” winning trainer Currie said after the victory.
“She’s come back better now as an older mare.
“She got through that ground really well and it was a great ride by Jeff.
“I was confident she’d run the mile really well.”
Col ‘N’ Lil jumped sweetly from her nice draw in the weight-for-age feature, before being forced out wide and then settling into second behind the pace-setter I’m Belucci.
Race favourite Religify was third on the rails throughout, while Godolphin’s last start Listed Scone Cup winner over the mile Duca Valentinois was tracking in fourth just off the pace.
Coming into the turn for home, Lloyd made an early move on the mare taking Col ‘N’ Lil to the front to lead the way over the final 400m.
Jockey James Doyle was quick on the scene with Duca Valentinois turning the final few hundred metres into a real fight, but Col ‘N’ Lil didn’t back down.
“I thought we were in a little bit of trouble at the furlong,” Currie admitted.
“I was worried in the last 50 [metres] he [Duca Valentinois] might have got us.”
Despite the persistent galloper on her inside, she dug deep and held on for a long neck win on the line before the Lord Mayor’s Cup trifecta was rounded out by the Chris Waller-trained Snitzel mare Elle Lou a further three lengths back for third.
“She was always travelling really strong, so it’s good when a plan comes off,” Currie added.
“When she gets in those dogfights like that she’s so tough.”
Currie said a return to Eagle Farm in a fortnight for a stakes race on Stradbroke Handicap Day was most likely on the cards for Col ‘N’ Lil after she showed how well she could handle the rain-affected track.
“I’d say so,” he said.
“I think she’s got an advantage…she can get through the track.”
Lloyd was also full of post-win praise for Col ‘N’ Lil after her gutsy performance.
“She loves these conditions and the track was suited to her today,” the veteran hoop said.
“She gave me a nice kick and fought off Godolphin’s horse.
“I was very confident when I took over.
“She was tough and had to fight them off.”
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2017 Lord Mayor’s Cup Results & Finishing Order
Eagle Farm Race 2 – 27/05/2017
|1||8||COL ’N’ LIL||Ben Currie||Jeff Lloyd||–||3||57kg||$7|
|2||3||DUCA VALENTINOIS (IRE)||Darren Beadman||James Doyle||0.4L||6||59kg||$6.50|
|3||7||ELLE LOU||Chris Waller||Blake Shinn||3.9L||4||57kg||$5|
|4||4||PAJARO (NZ)||Peter & Paul Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||7.7L||7||59kg||$7|
|5||2||AMOVATIO||Chris Waller||Tommy Berry||9.5L||1||59kg||$7|
|6||1||RELIGIFY||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||12L||2||59kg||$3.20F|
|7||9||SAGA MISS||Peter & Will Hulbert||Micheal Hellyer||23.8L||5||57kg||$71|
|8||6||I’M BELUCCI||Desleigh Forster||Jim Byrne||29.8L||8||59kg||$31|
|–||10||MYSTIC OPAL||Chris Anderson||Larry Cassidy||–||0||–||–|
|–||5||TRUBIA||Michael Lakey||Brad Stewart||–||0||–||–|
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