Phar Lap Stakes An Easier Option
Mar 11, 2016
Nominated for both Friday’s $200,000 Group 3 Arrowfield Kembla Grange Classic (1600m) and Saturday’s $175,00 Group 3 Celebrations Phar Lap Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill, the decision was made to send unbeaten filly Believe up and against the colts and geldings on Saturday rather than tackle her own sex a day prior.
An impressive debut winner in a maiden at Newcastle on February 6, with a length win over Happy Hannah, the three-year-old Fastnet Rock filly (below as a yearling) next started in a mid-week Rosehill 1500m race where she again proved too classy, defeating Dixie Blossom by a length.
With her main goal being the Group 1 ATC Oaks trainer Anthony Cummings felt that that the Kembla Grange Classic looked a stronger field, and that his talented filly would be better suited at Rosehill.
"She needs to have a run this week to be ready for the Vinery Stud Stakes and looking at the Kembla Grange Classic and the Phar Lap, this race looked easier even though it is against the boys," Cummings said
"She has scored a couple of good wins and makes her own luck, so that is a big bonus."
The form through her maiden win is holding up with Happy Hannah recording two impressive race victories since that Newcastle race including a length a quarter win on Wednesday Warwick Farm of Sebring’s full-sister Falkenberg.
And with Dixie Blossom a leading chance in Friday’s Group 3 race, connections of Believe should feel confident heading towards Saturday’s race.
While fillies have only proved successful seven times in the Phar Lap Stakes, last year’s winner was none other than Street Cry’s Winx.
"She is the sort of filly that is looking for a trip and should measure [up] against here," Cummings said.
Set to head to the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m)at her next start before a start in the Group1 ATC Oaks on April 9, where if successful, Believe will join On Air, a two length winner of the Oaks for the stable.
Ridden by Kerrin McEvoy at her most recent win, the leading hoop will stick with the Coolmore sold Fastnet Rock filly.
With three fillies set to contest the Phar Lap Stakes, Believe ($9.00) will be joined by Victorian visitor Sacred Eye ($5.00) and last Sunday’s Canberra Guineas winner Italy ($11.00) from the Godolphin stable.
Italy’s trainer John O’Shea wouldn’t be starting the filly unless she had come through her impressive last start win.
“She’s obviously made good recovery from her win in Canberra last Sunday,” stated O’Shea.
“A very fit filly.”
Race favourite at $2.80 is Italy’s stablemate Old North, a Lonhro colt out of the dual Listed-winning Elusive Quality mare Bernicia, herself a half-sister to Group 1 winners Dizelle and Vengeance Of Rain, all out of the Group 1 Blue Diamond winner Danelagh.
A winner of his last two starts in style, Old North will still need to step up from his mid-week Warwick Farm win to stakes company to prove competitive, but the manner in which he won his last start suggest he can.
Image: Bradley Photographers