Local galloper Zahspeed remains the solid...
Make it four starts and four wins for the Darren Weir trained Amphitrite, who claimed the $500,000 Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
The three-year old filly left it very late, but last week’s Manifold Stakes (1600m) winner dove at the line from a wide position down the straight to snatch a win away from Fundamentalist by a nose.
“Well done to the stable, they backed her up after last week, came here, they pulled out barrier sixteen and Darren just gave me so much confidence,” jockey Craig Williams told Racing.com.
“He said I’m delighted with the filly, same as the other day, the handler said she’s going around exactly the same as she was at Flemington.”
For Williams, the victory marked back-to-back wins after riding Ball of Muscle to glory in the Group 2 Schillaci Stakes a race prior. He admits though he wasn’t feeling all that confident in Amphitrite prior to the race.
“She was actually quite slow going to the start and out of the gates so I was a little bit worried about her, but Darren just said get on the back, ride her dead quiet and let her accelerate in the straight” Williams said.
It looked to be a two-horse race rounding the bend as $2.25 favourite Smart Melody ran neck-and-neck along the fence with $7.00 second-elect Thrillster.
Eventually the pair got tired though, which allowed Amphitrite to kick on the outside to win in a time of 1:35.67.
“It’s amazing where these horses come from, obviously she showed us a little bit in the first prep but nothing like this” champion trainer Darren Weir said after yet another Group 1 win.
“She went out and matured and turned into a nice big strong filly, trained well, continued to train well and stay sound, it’s amazing what happens when those things go with you, because most of the time something goes wrong.”
The win was set up for Amphitrite down the straight, and she let down tremendously. As for the plan ahead, Weir claims she was always on a path to step up to the 2000m in the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes on Victoria Derby day, but with a nomination, a ride in the Group 1 Kennedy Oaks (2500m) is still an option.
“The plan was today to ride her, to run well, and ride her for the Wakeful, so on that, you know, 2000m is going to be right up her ally I’d say.
“It doesn’t matter what happens now, she’s done all she needs to do for us.”
Amphitrite has firmed from $8.00 into the $5.00 favourite ahead of the Oaks. As for Williams, he’s ready to place the filly in some pretty strong company.
“Look out for Winx, because we’ve only got another 23 to go” Williams joked after the race.
Full Oaks odds can be seen below.
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