The major Brisbane race at Eagle Farm Racecourse...
Three-year-old filly Qafila is now a proud Group 1 winner after claiming the South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville on Saturday.
The Not A Single Doubt filly led from barrier to box over the journey to salute for Lindsay Park, joining the long list of winners to come from the champion stable.
Qafila, who entered the race at $14.00 odds with Ladbrokes, backed up following her fourth placing in last week’s Group 1 Australasian Oaks (2000m) on the same track. After responding well to the short turnaround during the Spring, it was no surprise to see her and jockey Cory Parish enjoy the run of the race.
The win was a huge moment for Parish, claiming his second-ever Group 1 win following his brilliant ride aboard Boom Time in last year’s Caulfield Cup. The winning hoop has been always remained faithful to Lindsay Park and finally reaped the rewards for his hard work.
“I knew being the only filly in the race, the extra 2kg’s off her back, she’s such a strong horse,” Parish said after the win.
“I travelled pretty close and she was travelling really well, and I came around Stephen Baster and I thought you’ve nearly gone too strong, and at the same time she was dragging me there.
“I had to keep her where she was happy, got to the front, I drew the stick on her and she just kept on finding.”
Lindsay Park knows a thing or two about winning the Derby with a filly, having done so with Mapperley Heights way back in 1984.
Winning co-trainer Ben Hayes was on hand to witness Saturday’s win, and despite a few nervous moments, couldn’t be happier for both Qafila and Parish.
“She deserves this Group 1 she’s been competing at the highest level for her whole career,” Hayes said.
“She’s pulled up out of this race fantastic, she’s in her flow and done such a good job. Huge thrill, well done to Cory, he’s done it just out of riding Boom Time in the Caulfield Cup.
“He hit the front under a hold, and I was a bit worried something was going to sweep, but she had them at the 200m and she couldn’t have won it more dominantly. The fillies this year have had it over the colts, and she just proves it.”
Fellow double-digit chance Savvy Oak ran on well for second, while $2.50 favourite Mr. Quickie placed third.
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