The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
There was a notable upset in the 2022 The Invitation for the second edition of the $2 million feature on Spring Champion Stakes Day with the John O’Shea-trained Promise of Success scoring at 25/1.
The seven-year-old daughter of Dansili returned to her best form second-up atoning for her forgivable run on a bottomless track a fortnight ago when seventh fresh in the Group 3 The Nivision (1200m).
Better suited to the Soft going and step-up to 1400m for The Invitation, Promise Of Success made up late ground to score right on the line off a perfectly-timed ride by Kerrin McEvoy.
“She’s a big strong mare and a quality mare in her own right,” McEvoy told Thoroughbred Central.
“The last run didn’t really go to plan, it was a quickly run race in Heavy ground and we got back and she actually dipped quite badly a couple of times.
“I said to John ‘just put a complete line through that’.
“She won a couple of nice races over seven furlongs (1400m) last time in and gave me a good feel in doing it so I was confident to just switch her off early.
“I switched her off as best I could, she travelled quite keen a couple of times but at the top of the lane she was full of running and well played to John and the team.”
On the line she had just a nose to spare over the Hawkes Racing-trained Electric Girl ($18), while Nimlaee ($6) was best of the single-figure fancies in a tight The Invitation trifecta.
“She went really well. Full credit to the winner but with a bit more luck I might have won it myself,” Hugh Bowman said after riding the runner-up Electric Girl.
Last year’s The Invitation winner Icebath was well fancied to go back-to-back, but blew her chances missing the kick by two lengths before going back and never featuring running an eventual ninth some three lengths beaten.
“Race was over from the gates. She ran well,” jockey Tom Sherry said after the disappointing finish on Icebath.
Expat lead them around and had the front into the home straight with 400m to go before Nimalee and Forbidden Love worked into the clear to challenge.
At the 300m, Promise Of Success moved up on the outside and hit the lead, holding on to salute at the big odds off the good ride by McEvoy who O’Shea was quick to credit.
“We were so glad to get him, a quality rider like Kerrin,” the winning trainer told the media post-race.
“To be fair, even though she ran third last the other day he was keen to stick with her.
“He’s backed his judgment and it paid off. Alex, my foreman who works tirelessly, a lot of it is due to her work.
“It’s really exciting to win a nice race like this. We’ve been bullish on the mare and she has come here today and raced accordingly.
“It’s a tremendous group of people (involved) so I’m just so happy for them.”
2022 The Invitation Results & Finishing Order
|1||5||PROMISE OF SUCCESS (GB)||John O’Shea||Kerrin McEvoy||9||58kg||$26|
|2||4||ELECTRIC GIRL||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Hugh Bowman||0.17L||7||59kg||$18|
|3||2||NIMALEE||Matthew Smith||Regan Bayliss||0.93L||8||59kg||$6|
|4||9||BELLE PLAISIR (NZ)||Tony & Calvin McEvoy||Sam Clipperton||0.96L||5||58kg||$20|
|5||11||NEVER TALK||Kris Lees||Jason Collett||1.25L||12||57kg||$15|
|6||1||FORBIDDEN LOVE||Michael Freedman||Blake Shinn||2.56L||2||59.5kg||$7|
|7||7||EXPAT (NZ)||Mark Newnham||Joshua Parr||2.77L||4||58kg||$19|
|8||12||SHEEZA BELTER||Peter & Paul Snowden||William Pike||3.16L||1||54kg||$10|
|9||3||ICEBATH (NZ)||Brad Widdup||Tom Sherry||3.2L||3||59kg||$5EF|
|10||6||SWATS THAT||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Keagan Latham||3.45L||10||58kg||$14|
|11||10||ESPIONA||Chris Waller||Brenton Avdulla||3.48L||6||58kg||$5EF|
|12||8||BARB RAIDER||Jerome Hunter||Will Price (a)||8.82L||11||58kg||$21|
|13e||CHARMMEBABY (NZ)||Bob Milligan||0|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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