The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
The opening leg of the spring’s Princess Series has been won by the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained Autumn Ballet who drove through right on the line to salute in a thrilling edition of the 2023 Silver Shadow Stakes.
Last prep the nicely-bred daughter of The Autumn Sun made history in Canberra as the first ever debutant to take out the Group 3 Black Opal Stakes before she was put away following a fifth in the Group 2 Percy Sykes Stakes in April.
First-up for the spring Autumn Ballet returned to Royal Randwick and was impressive holding on to win the Group 2 $300,000 Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m) with plenty of upside to come.
“I think when she got to that Percy Sykes she may have just sort of come to the end of the preparation, ridden a little differently on that occasion,” co-trainer Bott told Sky Thoroughbred Central.
“She made quite a statement on debut, not easy to win a Black Opal and she showed a lot of natural ability on that day and she’s obviously come back in good shape.”
The Percy Sykes Stakes form was franked at Rosehill last weekend when the Maher/Eustace-trained runner-up Tiz Invincible won the Listed The Rosebud.
Autumn Ballet ($16) further franked the autumn form with her Group 2 success, the Silver Shadow Stakes winning filly given a perfectly timed ride by hoop Adam Hyeronimus.
The eventual winner’s previously undefeated stablemate, Taormina, led the Silver Shadow field around while Autumn Ballet settled nicely in third throughout.
The Ciaron Maher & David Eustace-trained favourite Estriella ($3.90F) was in a stalking position second on the outside of the front-runner, and the first two were going stride-for-stride around the turn onto the home straight.
Autumn Ballet peeled out just before the home turn and finished off well getting her nose down right on the line in a three-way photo finish to deny the brave beaten favourite Estriella, who still looked green racing keenly in a fast race.
The returning Gary Portelli-trained Percy Sykes third place-getter Kimochi ($5.50) thundered through the line to complete another Group race trifecta in encouraging early spring fashion.
The Group 2 $300,000 Furious Stakes (1200m) back at Randwick on September 2 marks the second leg of the Princess Series and looks the likely next-up option for Autumn Ballet.
“I think she’s got the scope to keep improving particularly as we get over a little bit further,” Bott said.
“That was the only concern coming here today, I thought maybe this preparation she was looking for that 1400m, 1600m.
“She’s certainly right on track to go through the series and I think she’s just going to get better as we go through the campaign.”
The major target of course is the Group 1 $750,000 Flight Stakes (1600m) over the mile on Epsom Handicap Day, September 30.
Zougotcha (2022) completed the Silver Shadow – Flight Stakes double last year.
2023 Silver Shadow Stakes Results & Finishing Order
|1||4||AUTUMN BALLET||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Adam Hyeronimus||3||56kg||$16|
|2||11||ESTRIELLA||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Ms Jamie Kah||0.13L||4||55kg||$3.90F|
|3||5||KIMOCHI||Gary Portelli||Jason Collett||0.18L||10||55kg||$5.50|
|4||15||MUMBAI MUSE||Michael Freedman||Brett Prebble||1.09L||1||55kg||$21|
|5||9||AMAZONIAN LASS||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Sam Clipperton||1.71L||9||55kg||$61|
|6||12||SUMMER LOVING||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Ms Rachel King||1.73L||13||55kg||$31|
|7||3||PLATINUM JUBILEE||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Tim Clark||1.92L||5||56kg||$7|
|8||14||PRIVATE LEGACY||Gregory Hickman||Tyler Schiller||2.07L||7||55kg||$151|
|9||10||FRENCH ENDEAVOUR||Matthew Smith||Dylan Gibbons (a)||2.68L||6||55kg||$26|
|10||8||TAORMINA||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Regan Bayliss||4.07L||2||55kg||$14|
|11||1||LAZZAGO||Chris Waller||Kerrin McEvoy||6.42L||12||57kg||$41|
|12||7||ZARDOZI||James Cummings||Chad Schofield||12.51L||11||55kg||$11|
|13||2||KRISTILLI||Annabel Neasham||James McDonald||19.32L||8||57kg||$4.60|
|6||INHIBITIONS||James Cummings||Jean Van Overmeire||0|
|13||AUGUST BLOOM||Peter & Paul Snowden||Tom Sherry||0|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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