From extreme joy to deep sadness (and often at the same moment), it was an emotional day of racing in Australia yesterday. Apprentice jock Peter Wells got his first G1 victory, winning the Metropolitan with longshot Newport, less than a month after his beloved great aunt Janice died on his birthday September 12.
Despite her mare Bianca getting beaten by Newport by a long neck in the Metropolitan, lady trainer extraordinaire Gai Waterhouse had an overall successful day. At Randwick, her 2-year-old filly Horizons finished second behind longshot Our Joan of Arc in the Gimcrack Stakes. In the G2 Roman Consul Stakes, her 3-year-old filly Montana Flyer dominated mixed company for the win, while her 4-year-old gelding Lorne Dancer took out the next race, the G3 Craven Plate. However, Maybe I disappointed in the G1 Flight Stakes, finishing eighth behind the magnificent 3-year-old filly Samantha Miss who may next set her eyes on the G1 Cox Plate. Waterhouse’s Fight and Defend ran fourth behind Sousa, Predatory Pricer and Excelltastic in the G1 Spring Champion Stakes, just before Bianca’s defeat. However, the lady trainer rebounded fantastically, when her gelding duo Theseo and Bank Robber pulled off a $126 quinella in the G1 Epsom Handicap, with the 5-year-old mare Gallant Tess a close third. Bhutane Dane finished third in a listed event at Flemington.
Even with all her success, it must be tempered with the devastating news that her mare Tuesday Joy bled from both nostrils in the G1 Turnbull so her Caulfield Cup aspirations are over. “Of course it's very disappointing but we've now got three options in front of us. They will be to retire her, send her for a spell and bring her back for the autumn, or continue her racing days in America. These are the options that myself and John Singleton (owner) must sort through over the next few weeks but she really was going well before all of this happened," Waterhouse said.
If Tuesday Joy comes to the U.S., watch out as she has kicked around some of the best male and female horses Down Under. Here’s her dominating April win in the G1 BMW:
Undoubtedly, the biggest surprise on Saturday was the total defeat of Weekend Hussler in the G1 Turnbull. The big question is, was his race failure due to the outside post, a bad ride, or can he simply not stay? It’s ugly:
If the Hussler has slipped in favoritism for the big spring prizes, then perhaps the magnificent 3-year-old filly Samantha Miss has made huge strides, after her dominating win in the G1 Flight Stakes. What a special filly!
Since the temperamental but extremely talented 3-year-old filly Ortensia is out for the year after surgery for a leg infection, Samantha Miss is my new favorite.