The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
Mo’unga was terrific winning the 2021 Rosehill Guineas in a fighting finish over the brave Sky Lab at Rosehill Gardens to hand trainer Annabel Neasham with her maiden Group 1 success in her first year of training.
Formerly part of the Ciaron Maher & David Eustace stable, Neasham went out on her own only this season and has already produced a brilliant elite level winner in classy Savabeel colt Mo’unga.
The progressive young star presented fit third-up in the Group 1 $600,000 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) on the rescheduled Golden Slipper Day program and didn’t disappoint getting the job done for the punters.
Tommy Berry retained the ride on the favourite having ridden Mo’unga for his last start second to Lion’s Roar in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) earlier in the month, and got up for his first Rosehill Guineas success.
Mo’unga relished the rise in distance and was very good in holding out Paul Perry’s surprise challenger Sky Lab who was first off the bit and still finding on the line in a terrific Group 1 $2 million Australian Derby (2400m) trial.
In third rounding out the Rosehill Guineas 2021 trifecta was dual Group 1 winning Kermadec filly Montefilia who looks back in form following her lead-up sixth in the Surround Stakes.
It was the runaway Group 2 Alister Clark Stakes winner out of Melbourne, Grandslam, who led the Rosehill Guineas field around while the top fancies in the market all settled towards the tail-end the early stages.
As they approached the turn for home, Mo’unga was coming around deep, while Montefilia was still well back.
Sky Lab was quickly on the scene once on the straight laying it down to Grandslam, before Berry came charging down the outside on Mo’unga.
Also working their way into the race was the Randwick Guineas winner Lion’s Roar, eventually fourth past the post, who was looking for the gap.
Over the final 100m it was a two-horse race however with Mo’unga and Sky Lab going stride-for-stride in an exciting finish eventually dominated by the top elect.
“I was a bit worried in the run, he’s always this horse midfield… I was worried he was spotting the leader way too far,” Neasham told Thoroughbred Central post-win.
“But he (Berry) knew what he was sitting on.
“He’d come to us, obviously beautifully produced, it was up to us to get the job done.
“Big effort. You dream of these moments and winning these races, just an incredible horse.”
There are options galore now with Mo’unga who could head into the traditional next-up ATC Derby target on April 10, or potentially in the Group 1 $3 million Doncaster Mile (1600m) dropping down in distance on the same day.
“I don’t know, we’ll enjoy this one and work that out next week,” Neasham said.
Mo’unga is also at $10 in the markets for this year’s Doncaster Mile.
2021 Rosehill Guineas Results
|1||3||MO’UNGA (NZ)||Annabel Neasham||Tommy Berry||6||56.5kg||$2.90F|
|2||11||SKY LAB||Paul Perry||James McDonald||0.2L||14||56.5kg||$13|
|3||15||MONTEFILIA||David Payne||Jason Collett||1L||10||54.5kg||$7|
|4||1||LION’S ROAR (NZ)||John O’Shea||Brenton Avdulla||1.8L||12||56.5kg||$7|
|5||6||WHEELHOUSE||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||1.9L||8||56.5kg||$12|
|6||8||KHOEKHOE||Matt Cumani||Kerrin McEvoy||4.4L||4||56.5kg||$19|
|7||7||THE ELANORA||Chris Waller||Nash Rawiller||6.2L||2||56.5kg||$15|
|8||4||MILFORD (NZ)||Stephen Marsh||Tim Clark||9.6L||3||56.5kg||$26|
|9||5||GRANDSLAM||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Mark Zahra||10.8L||5||56.5kg||$8.50|
|10||9||BUCHAREST||Chris Waller||Craig Williams||12L||9||56.5kg||$81|
|11||2||LUNAR FOX||Paul Preusker||Noel Callow||12.8L||11||56.5kg||$21|
|12||12||HERE TO SHOCK (NZ)||Brent Stanley||Tom Marquand||13.4L||13||56.5kg||$51|
|13||13||THE CULLINAN||Bryan Dais||Robbie Dolan||16.3L||1||56.5kg||$201|
|14||14||KOBESTAR||Anthony Cummings||Ms Rachel King||30.5L||7||56.5kg||$201|
|10||EXPLOSIVE JACK (NZ)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||John Allen||0|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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