The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
A quick back-up into Saturday week’s Group 1 $500,000 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield could be on the cards for the Tony & Calvin McEvoy-trained Pretty Brazen following her terrific win in the Group 2 $200,000 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) at HQ.
The punters were after the Godolphin-raced P.B. Lawrence Stakes winner Savatiano in the markets for the Let’s Elope on Makybe Diva Stakes Day, but the mares’ showdown was won in an upset by the unwanted Pretty Brazen at $20.
An expensive $700,000 yearling from the Easter sales, the beautifully-bred daughter of Brazen Beau had her 14th start and posted her fifth career win ahead of a potential seven-day back-up into elite company.
First-up as a four-year-old she finished the fourth fastest over the final 600m in the Group 3 Cockram Stakes (1200m) on August 29 when seventh behind Perfect Jewel.
That run put the writing on the wall for a better performance getting up to 1400m in the Let’s Elope, but still the Group 2 Sandown Guineas winner over the boys from last November went around at a huge price.
She was penalised weight-wise as a Group 2 winner and so met Savatiano and the Grant & Alana Williams-trained Perth star Arcadia Queen equal on 58kg.
The weight didn’t stop her from producing a brilliant late finishing burst off a wonderfully executed ride however, Pretty Brazen handing jockey Luke Currie his first victory since his return from a horror fall back in February.
“She was fantastic, really tough there,” co-trainer Calvin McEvoy told the media post-win.
“She’s been training on really well since her first-up run.
“We thought the first-up run was probably a pass mark, we expected maybe a little bit more but now she got up to the 1400 that’s really where we’ll see the best of her.
“Great to get Luke Currie’s first winner back.
“I’m thrilled for him to get a Group 2 winner as his first win back.
“She won the Sandown Guineas and I think she was the first filly in 14 years to do it.”
The favourite Savatiano led the Let’s Elope Stakes field around and went for home at the 250m, but the James Cummings-trained mare had plenty of challengers.
Darting clear was Pretty Brazen who managed to hold off a fast-finishing Arcadia Queen ($3.80) for the win, with the Ciaron Maher & David Eustace-trained Bonvicini ($21) running third in a stylish return.
It was a promising effort from the injury-plagued runner-up Arcadia Queen, likely now to continue on the path towards the $5 million Ladbrokes Cox Plate, who showed the stable she still had a zest for racing following her fifth in the P.B. Lawrence and subsequent Memsie Stakes scratching due to a foot abscess.
As for Pretty Brazen, the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes could be calling for her next weekend where she would get in as a lightweight chance.
“We’ll consider backing her up in the Rupert Clarke next week now depending on how she comes through, it’s obviously quite firm out there today,” McEvoy said.
“But a great mare and a fantastic result.”
2020 Let’s Elope Stakes Results
|1||3||PRETTY BRAZEN||Tony & Calvin McEvoy||Luke Currie||9||58kg||$20|
|2||1||ARCADIA QUEEN||Grant & Alana Williams||William Pike||0.2L||12||58kg||$3.80|
|3||7||BONVICINI||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Jye McNeil||0.95L||3||57kg||$21|
|4||9||SHE SHAO FLY||Kevin Corstens||Ben Melham||1.05L||1||55kg||$16|
|5||11||SOUTHBANK||Anthony & Sam Freedman||Billy Egan||2.55L||5||55kg||$31|
|6||12||LADY LOFT||Julius Sandhu||Beau Mertens||2.75L||7||55kg||$101|
|7||10||STREET ICON||Kevin Corstens||Craig Williams||3.25L||2||55kg||$26|
|8||2||SAVATIANO||James Cummings||Mark Zahra||3.35L||4||58kg||$2.70F|
|9||6||SPANISH REEF||Ken & Kasey Keys||Craig Newitt||3.55L||11||57kg||$31|
|10||13||AFFAIR TO REMEMBER||Dan O’Sullivan||Michael Dee||4.3L||13||55kg||$21|
|11||5||MY GOLD BRACELET (NZ)||Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr)||Damien Oliver||6.8L||6||58kg||$7|
|12||8||FIDELIA||Robbie Griffiths||Dean Yendall||8.05L||10||55kg||$21|
|13||4||SHROUDED IN MIST||Tony & Calvin McEvoy||John Allen||8.35L||8||58kg||$101|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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