TAB Golden Slipper (Group 1)

“WE’VE spoken on numerous occasions throughout this week about what this race means to the stable, the industry, the public,” said Adrian Bott after the Written Tycoon filly Lady Of Camelot had won the A$5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes at Rosehill.

“I’m delighted to be able to do that once again and alongside a special person in Gai Waterhouse, who I have to thank so much for my career and the partnership we’ve been able to do together.

“It’s a great achievement. She has gone to another level again, eight Slippers for her now.”

Training in partnership with Gai Waterhouse, the pair have dominated two-year-old racing this season and had a loaded hand of six starters in the 16-horse field for the 1,200 metre feature.

Headlining the show was the $2.60 favourite Storm Boy but he blew his lines early. “It was hard to know where to look,” added Bott. “The race changed complexion there pretty quickly with him (Storm Boy) missing the start.”

Juvenile racing is littered with hard luck stories but none could deny Lady Of Camelot.

Cool and calculated

Beaten by a half-head in the Blue Diamond Stakes, Blake Shinn took the ride and delivered a cool and calculated result.

Unhurried, he waited for the gap to present 250 metres out before driving the Written Tycoon filly into the clear. The Pierata colt Coleman presented like a winner but Shinn persisted and Lady Of Camelot responded to win by a neck, as the Justify colt Storm Boy produced a huge run to claim third.

It was a second Golden Slipper for Shinn, so too the sire, Written Tycoon, who stands at Yulong for a private fee.

Great ride

“She has been very brave to do that as well and a great ride by Blake Shinn,” continued Bott. “(Owner) Sir Owen Glenn, I’m delighted for him, he puts so much into the industry. She’s a homebred for him, we trained the mare (Miss Debutante, by Fastnet Rock).

“This is the third foal out of her and they’ve all been two-year-old stakes winners, she is obviously the best of them now. But a special thrill for him, I’m sure. Not only to own her but to breed her with a family he’s got a heavy involvement in.”

Imperatriz remains imperious

3 Point Motors William Reid Stakes (Group 1)

STAR New Zealand mare Imperatriz, back to set-weights after her second in the Newmarket Handicap added a 10th Group 1 to her impressive record in winning a second consecutive William Reid Stakes.

With four wins from four at Moonee Valley, all Group 1s, the five-year-old I Am Invincible mare had to dig deep after sweeping to the front on the final bend. Hunting her down was the 70/1 shot Johnny Rocker, by Jukebox, who ran the star mare to a head on the line. Third was another I Am Invincible mare, I Am Me.

“This is a great thrill, especially after the Newmarket.” said trainer Mark Walker. “She really dug deep that day. For her to come back here and do it again at her favourite track, it’s a bit of a relief.”

Ominous too were the post-race comments of jockey Opie Bosson; “I got off her after the Newmarket and told Mark that it would be hard to beat her in any weight-for-age race from now on.”

The A$360,000 Magic Millions Gold Coast yearling with a bank of over A$6.8 million from 19 wins will now be set for the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (April 6th) at Randwick.

“It will definitely be her last race for the season,” said trainer Mark Walker. “She will be on a plane home to New Zealand the next day and spell here before we bring her back up.”

Haggas strikes with

Post Impressionist

WILLIAM Haggas celebrated his stable’s annual migration to Sydney with their third win in the past five editions of the Group 3 N.E. Manion Cup at Rosehill on Saturday.

Flying the flag was the Irish-bred Teofilo gelding Post Impressionist, carrying the colours of Lloyd Williams over the 2,400 metres.

Ridden by Tom Marquand and sent out favourite, the result was never in doubt, the margin a widening three lengths.

“I have to be honest, I had nothing to do with him at all,” said Nick Williams of the family’s involvement in Post Impressionist.

“Dad (Lloyd) has been friendly with William Haggas for a long time. He saw him win, and he spoke to William about it. He subsequently bought the horse after his last start in Europe, which he won in a pretty similar fashion.

“You’d have to think about the Tancred (Stakes), you’d have to think about the Sydney Cup. We’ll let William decide. He’s had a lot of success out here and (travelling foreperson) Issy (Paul) and he do a terrific job with the horses they bring out here, we’ve seen that over a number of years so all credit to them.”

Pretty Polly winner Sistina impresses in the Ranvet

Ranvet Stakes (Group 1)

LAST year’s Pretty Polly Stakes winner, the Irish-bred Via Sistina, added a second Group 1 to her 14-start career with a smart win on debut in Australia in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes over Rosehill’s 2,000 metres.

Winning by a length she defeated another Irish-bred mare, Place Du Carrousel by Lope De Vega. Although the pair are now trained by Chris Waller, and Anthony and Sam Freedman respectively, both horses carried the green silks of the Zhang family’s Yulong Stud who bought both mares at auction last year.

Place Du Carrousel was purchased from Arqana for €4,025,000 while the Fastnet Rock mare Via Sistina sold for 2.7million guineas at the Tattersalls Mares’ sale. Third in the Ranvet was the British-bred Fastnet Rock horse Buckaroo, formerly with Joseph O’Brien.

“I’m just a small cog in a wheel that’s all I am,” said a typically deferential Chris Waller of Via Sistina.

“She is a privilege to train. (Her former trainer) George Boughey has done a fantastic job with her career. James Ferguson prepared her for us from Newmarket and we’ve put the finishing touches on her the last three weeks.

“In fact, we haven’t really, we’ve just backed off, she came across very fit, so we haven’t panicked, we’ve just kept her safe and in good shape. It didn’t look like much on paper and that was a concern, but to amble up and for James [McDonald] to be sitting motionless at the 200, it was pretty good to watch.”

Via Sistina has now been installed as favourite for the A$4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes ahead of Mr Brightside.

Riff rockets in the Guineas

Sky Racing Rosehill Guineas (Group 1)

THE Chris Waller-trained Riff Rocket, winner of the Victoria Derby over the spring, has reproduced his best to take out the Rosehill Guineas over 2,000 metres.

The American Pharoah gelding came from off the pace to swoop down the outside and win, drawing away in impressive fashion.

The final margin was a length over the New Zealand-bred Tavistock colt Ceolwulf and the Snitzel colt Cap Ferrat with Ryan Moore in the saddle. The win catapults Riff Rocket to the top of the Australian Derby betting ahead of Godolphin’s Tom Kitten.

“He’s a Derby winner and he’s a Rosehill Guineas winner. He’s showed touches of brilliance in between as well, so that was a pretty satisfying win today for the team,” said Chris Waller.

“The draw was tricky; he had to come from a long way back, but Nash [Rawiller] knew what he had under him, and he backed him for a solid finish, and that’s what he produced.”