The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
A terrific first-up win at Caulfield Racecourse in the 2019 Quezette Stakes from the James Cummings-trained Exhilarates has opened up the spring racing options for the progressive daughter of Snitzel.
Godolphin made it back-to-back wins on P.B. Lawrence Stakes Day in the three-years-old features with Exhilarates saluting for the stable in the Group 3 $160,000 Quezette Stakes (1100m) just one race after the big Vain Stakes 2019 victory by Bivouac.
The winning filly was a second slower than her impressive stablemate, but the team were equally as impressed with her return to racing after a Heavy-rated track at Rosehill saw Exhilarates run 14th last start in the Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m).
“That’s a terrific performance from that young filly,” stable representative Sean Keogh said after the Quezette Stakes results.
“That’s really only her second preparation…it’s good to see her back.
“She got back in the field, she was three wide, so that was a good effort.
“She came back in terrific order.”
Exhilarates emulated champion filly Sunlight (2018) from 12 months ago who also won the Quezette Stakes after an early Gold Coast win in the lucrative $2 million Magic Millions Classic (1200m).
After the Magic Millions victory during the summer, Exhilarates finished runner-up in the Randwick’s Group 2 Reisling Stakes (1200m) and then was turned out after the unplaced Slipper performance.
She was a powerhouse late in the Quezette Stakes fresh, grabbing the front runner Absolute Flirt at the 200m and scorching away for her one and three-quarter length win.
The other two best over the line were also Godolphin-raced with the longer-priced Pin Sec in a surprise third and the Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes winner, Lyre, finishing fourth as the beaten favourite in the Quezette Stake.
Keogh said next race they would look at having a “crack up the straight” at Flemington on September 14 – Makybe Diva Stakes Day – in the Listed $140,000 Cap D’Antibes Stakes (1100m).
After her Quezette win last year, Sunlight went on to salute at Flemington on VRC Derby Day in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) – the $1.5 million classic also a possible spring target for Exhilarates in 2019.
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