The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
It was a Chris Waller thriller in the 2022 Vinery Stud Stakes quinella at Newcastle on Monday with his classy fillies Fangirl and Hinged battling it out the closing stages to run first and second respectively in the rescheduled Group 1 feature.
One of the seven postponed Tancred Stakes Day races taking place at Newcastle after last Saturday’s Rosehill wash-out, the Group 1 $500,000 Vinery Stud Stakes (1850m) produced an exciting finish as two of Waller’s in-form runners went stride for stride over the final furlong.
Right up on pace for the first time in a long time, Waller’s recent Light Fingers Stakes winner Fangirl travelled beautifully in fourth throughout before nudging out her stablemate Hinged to record her first Group 1 success.
“Well deserved. It has been a tough autumn for so many of the horses, especially the fillies. Chequered form lines, I get, but just what my team at home do to pick these horses up, especially young horses, and try and turn them around after perhaps a disappointing run last start is quite remarkable,” Waller said after the win.
“Great idea to bring the races to Newcastle. We’ve got some great tracks in Sydney but this has really shown its worth and (I’d be) probably suggesting some investment in Sydney to get something similar because it’s such an important time of the year to be running good horses on good tracks. It brings the best form-lines out in my opinion.”
It was a nice improvement the daughter of Sebring whose other autumn runs were a fifth to Hinged in the Group 1 Surround Stakes (1400m) and fourth as the beaten odds-on favourite in the Group 2 Phar Lap Stakes (1500m) on March 12.
The Phar Lap Stakes form was well and truly franked on the rescheduled Tancred meeting with the winner Mr Mozart winning the Group 3 $160,000 Doncaster Prelude (1500m) and Fangirl posting her gutsy Vinery Stud Stakes success soon after.
The Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained Flight Stakes winner from the spring Never Been Kissed, second in the Phar Lap last time out, led the Vinery field around setting a strong pace up front and ensuring a truly run race.
Waller’s Surround Stakes winner Hinged, backing up from her third behind the older mares in the Coolmore Classic, was also quick into stride settling second.
David Vandyke’s previously undefeated Queensland-trained filly Gypsy Goddess meanwhile was fifth and fourth last throughout before pulling out wide approaching the turn trying to improve her position.
Never Been Kissed swung in front coming down the centre of the track on the straight, but was soon joined by Hinged and the Hugh Bowman-ridden Fangirl who pulled clear in a two-filly run to the line.
A final stride lunge from Fangirl saw her get a head in front wearing down Hinged, while Gypsy Goddess did well to make up late ground and run a gap back third.
“It’s lovely to win a Group 1 in the all cerise – the Ingham family obviously huge in racing since before I was around and of course they’ve been with Chris (Waller) and the team for so long, and I’ve ridden so many wonderful horses for them but I think this is actually the first Group 1 – Group 1 winner anyway,” Bowman said.
“It was (a tussle). I got to Hinged very easy but I was mindful of timing my run because I could feel there wasn’t a lot left in the tank and when I finally did ask for full effort, I only got a neck in front and Brenton came back to make that margin a little closer but she was so gallant. She’s a lovely filly and she’s been beautifully managed by the master (Waller).”
The likely next-up option for the best out of the Vinery is the Group 1 $1 million Australian Oaks (2400m) on April 9 at Royal Randwick.
The Waller-trained Verry Elleegant (2019) and Hungry Heart (2021) are the latest to complete the Vinery Stud Stakes – ATC Oaks double.
2022 Vinery Stud Stakes Results & Finishing Order
|1||4||FANGIRL||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||9||56kg||$6|
|2||2||HINGED||Chris Waller||Brenton Avdulla||0.37L||4||56kg||$3.90|
|3||6||GYPSY GODDESS (NZ)||David Vandyke||William Pike||4.68L||10||56kg||$3.80F|
|4||3||NEVER BEEN KISSED (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Regan Bayliss||4.81L||2||56kg||$10|
|5||12||PINK IVORY (NZ)||John Sargent||Rory Hutchings||5.91L||11||56kg||$12|
|6||1||YEARNING||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tommy Berry||7.01L||14||56kg||$21|
|7||8||HOPE IN YOUR HEART||Kerry Parker||Kerrin McEvoy||7.12L||8||56kg||$31|
|8||13||ELLENMAC||Matthew Smith||Ms Kathy O’Hara||7.44L||3||56kg||$101|
|9||9||GIN MARTINI (NZ)||John Sargent||Robbie Dolan||9.16L||5||56kg||$61|
|10||7||PRETTY AMAZING||Chris Waller||James McDonald||12.21L||12||56kg||$11|
|11||14||YOUTHFULL||Brad Widdup||Brock Ryan||13.85L||7||56kg||$201|
|12||5||MOKULUA||Clarry Conners||Nash Rawiller||14.7L||6||56kg||$14|
|13||11||STRAY||Anthony Cummings||Joshua Parr||26.29L||1||56kg||$31|
|14||15e||HIDDEN SMILE||Anthony Cummings||Ms Rachel King||26.45L||13||56kg||$201|
|10||HONEYCREEPER||James Cummings||Ms Jamie Kah||0|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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