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Ace Sydney horseman Chris Waller has named the 2020 Flight Stakes on Epsom Handicap Day as the Group 1 spring target for his progressive filly Giovanna Run after her all-the-way win in the first at Kensington on Saturday.
A daughter for Vinery Stud’s first season sire Press Statement – formerly trained by Waller to win the Group 1 JJ Atkins as a two-year-old and Caulfield Guineas as a three-year-old in the spring – Giovanna Run was dominant in her win for the punters in the $125,000 Everest Carnival On Sale Handicap (1400m).
“He [Press Statement] was a brilliant late season two-year-old winning a Group I race and proved it at three so you would expect his stock to do the same,” Waller said.
Breaking her maiden status at career start number three, the filly improved on her close second over 1150m at the same track on July 1 before relishing the step-up in distance on Saturday.
“She’s always been on our radar as a nice filly,” Waller said.
“For that reason we gave her an early prep and she wasn’t quite ready for it but she has come back really well.”
Jockey Tommy Berry came aboard for the ride, taking Giovanna Run ($3.90F) straight to the front and held on from barrier to box for a dominant performance to defeat the David Payne-trained duo Bazooka ($5) and Montefilia ($6).
“I definitely don’t think it’s (leading) the way to ride her but I just felt I was on the best horse in the race,” Berry said.
“I spoke to Chris before it and there was obviously a lack of speed in the race so we just thought we’d press forward.
“We didn’t really have a set plan on where we’d end up in the first four but when I was getting there so easy, she feels like she’s a filly that really needs to get into a nice rhythm and I was able to do that in front.”
Waller named the Group 1 $500,000 Darley Flight Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on October 3 as the filly’s key spring target, a race he won for the first time last year with Funstar.
“She is a filly that I think is a three-year-old that fits into our mould of looking after her and she will be a nice horse,” the master trainer said.
“I will find a race for her in four weeks and not spell her and give her a chance to get through to a Flight Stakes.
“It normally has 10 runners every year and then I’d give her a spell after that.”
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