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A memorable edition to the Thousand Guineas went down at in the history books at Caulfield on Saturday as a thrilling photo finish between Missile Mantra, Southbank and race-favourite Flit left punters on their toes.
The Godolphin three-year-old was eventually awarded her first-ever Group 1 win after getting the nose down at the line. Flit entered the race at $2.30 odds with Ladbrokes.com.au, and although it wasn’t pretty, champion jockey Hugh Bowman couldn’t have been happier with the result.
“I was a little bit surprised that she didn’t quicken like I felt she was going to last start. The pace really poured on at the 400m and if I had to wait for that pace to go before I could move, and it just left her a bit flat footed,” Bowman initially said.
“But my word she was strong late. I think if it was a more evenly run event – I think there were a couple pilots out there who were more worried about me than the race – I think if it was a genuinely run event she would’ve won comfortably.”
There was very little speed in the early goings as Southbank took up the lead from I Am Eloquent out of the gates. Flit also got away cleanly from the barriers and enjoyed the run of the race off the fence with a furlong to go.
Punters on board Southbank have to feel a little hard done by, however, as Anthony Freedman’s three-year-old ran second for the third race in a row. As we’ve seen before, Flit’s dazzling turn of foot proved too much to match.
“Today’s the grand final. This is a race she’s been aimed at, sure we had no luck last time but that can happen at this track, as it can happen at Moonee Valley and a little bit less so at Flemington on the Melbourne tracks. But that’s behind us, we’re here today and she’s a Group 1 winning filly,” Bowman went on to say.
Team Godolphin now has some decisions to make ahead of the Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) in a fortnight’s time at Moonee Valley. Flit currently holds a nomination in the race, and by the sounds of it, trainer James Cummings is optimistic his horse will head that way.
“Three-year-old fillies have a wonderful record in it, I must say before getting through the Caulfield Stakes this year it’s looking pretty open. I dare say she’d be comfortable at a mile and a quarter, we’ve got that decision to make and we’ll let the dust settle first,” Cummings said following Saturday’s win.
2019 Thousand Guineas Results & Finishing Order
|1||3||FLIT||James Cummings||Hugh Bowman||–||2||55.5kg||$2.35F|
|2||7||MISSILE MANTRA||Peter & Paul Snowden||Damian Lane||0.1L||10||55.5kg||$8.50|
|3||8||SOUTHBANK||Anthony Freedman||James McDonald||0.2L||4||55.5kg||$17|
|4||1||LYRE||Anthony Freedman||Mark Zahra||1.95L||3||55.5kg||$4.80|
|5||4||ACTING (NZ)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Craig Williams||2.95L||6||55.5kg||$7|
|6||10||EMERALDS||John Sargent||Ben Melham||3.95L||8||55.5kg||$11|
|7||2||TENLEY||James Cummings||Kerrin McEvoy||5.7L||7||55.5kg||$26|
|8||5||I AM ELOQUENT||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Stephen Baster||5.8L||5||55.5kg||$51|
|9||9||BARBIE’S FOX||Louise Bonella||Damien Oliver||6L||1||55.5kg||$51|
|10||6||ST EDWARD’S CROWN||Shane Fliedner||Damien Thornton||11L||9||55.5kg||$71|
|–||11||AFFAIR TO REMEMBER||Dan O’Sullivan||Michael Walker||–||0||–||–|
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