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Godolphin’s Thousand Guineas winner this time last year, Flit, returned to her best in Sydney’s 2020 Silver Eagle defeating the hot favourite Alligator Blood ahead of their rematch in the $7.5 million The Golden Eagle at the end of the month.
On this day 12 months ago in Melbourne the James Cummings-trained Flit was celebrating a Group 1 Thousand Guineas success.
The now four-year-old Medaglia D’Oro mare had won just the one race since fresh in the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) at Randwick in the autumn, but returned to winning form on Spring Champion Stakes Day.
Atoning for her last start 10th to Haut Brion Her in Rosehill’s Group 2 Sheraco Stakes (1200m) from September 12, Flit was given a lovely ride by jockey Rachel King to take out the $500,000 Silver Eagle (1300m) in an upset.
“She has been flying this preparation without winning. It was a great placing first up we felt racing at weight-for-age but she probably took a bit longer to get over that run than we would have liked and now she is feeling good and saddling up,” Cummings said post-win.
“We just couldn’t see her running a bad race today and yet she was up against some pretty good opposition.
“She was smoking in behind Alligator Blood and Darren and I were hoping she would just wait and she waited enough.”
It was the boom Group 1 winning Queenslander Alligator Blood dominating the Silver Eagle markets, but David Vandyke’s Australian Guineas champ had to settle for second having his colours lowered by the mare.
Two horses showed good speed to lead the Silver Eagle field around with Chat and eventual last past the post Surreal Step joint leaders in the early stages.
Alligator Blood meanwhile was settled third on the outside of Subpoenaed, with Flit in fifth while Dawn Passage raced around at the tail end of the line-up.
Jockey Ryan Maloney kept quiet on Alligator Blood up in third approaching the turn, the two front-runners still going stride for stride into the straight.
In the run for home Flit quickly got going coming with a huge run over the final furlong to get up on the outside of Alligator Blood and win, while Dawn Passage made up all the ground to run third.
King celebrated her second win for the day but had a nasty time in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) when knocked off her mount Choir, the horse ducking inside the running rail later on the card.
King had Flit in the perfect position ready to pounce at the right time in the Silver Eagle however, the mare delivering the goods for the Royal Blue brigade ahead of her grand final on October 31.
“She actually pinged out of the gates, I was a little bit worried she might have overdone it to start with, but she came back really nicely and was able to follow Alligator Blood the whole way,” King said of the run.
“He gave me a beautiful tow into the race and she was just able to explode today, when she’s in that form, she’s got an incredible turn of foot.
“These small fields definitely help her, her last couple of starts she’s run into a bit of trouble, hasn’t had a lot of luck, but she’s been good to me, I ran second on her in a Group 2 last preparation and obviously a win aboard today, she’s moving up the ranks quickly.”
Flit has firmed in from $26 into $8 for The Golden Eagle 2020 at Rosehill over the 1500m, the second running of the four-years-old feature taking place on the same day as Melbourne’s VRC Derby Day at Flemington.
“The horse has got a great turn of foot,” Cummings added.
“She has marched herself right into contention for a couple of big targets over the next three weeks and it will be up to the boys which way they want to head with her.”
2020 Silver Eagle Results
|1||2||FLIT||James Cummings||Ms Rachel King||6||56.5kg||$10|
|2||1||ALLIGATOR BLOOD||David Vandyke||Ryan Maloney||0.4L||3||58.5kg||$2.50F|
|3||3||DAWN PASSAGE||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Tim Clark||1.7L||7||56.5kg||$4.20|
|4||4||CHAT||John Thompson||Nash Rawiller||1.9L||4||56kg||$21|
|5||9||ICEBATH (NZ)||Brad Widdup||Regan Bayliss||2.1L||1||54kg||$13|
|6||7||SUBPOENAED (NZ)||Chris Waller||Tommy Berry||2.6L||2||55.5kg||$3.70|
|7||6||SURREAL STEP||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Kerrin McEvoy||2.8L||5||56kg||$71|
|5||CRIADERAS||James Cummings||James McDonald||0|
|8||HOW WOMANTIC||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Jason Collett||0|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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