Hugh Bowman caused an early boilover at Randwick on Saturday by taking out the Group 1 Darley Flight Stakes on David Payne’s three-year-old filly Montefilia.
The New Zealander was installed as a double-digit chance in the seven horse field but appeared challenged against the Chris Waller-trained Hungry Heart and the Snowden-trained Dame Giselle.
Jockey James McDonald was in sparkling form having ridden the previous four winners at Royal Randwick, but his luck came undone right on the line as Bowman and Montefilia pipped Hungry Heart by a head bob.
“I’m just so proud of the horse, David had a very high opinion of her, obviously, and the slowly run 1400m where she was just outsprinted, I thought there was a lot of credit in her run, and a little bit more pressure, some cat and mouse between Tommy and James suited” Bowman said after the win.
Payne’s lightly-raced filly was having her fourth run back from a spell after just missing out on the placings in last fortnight’s Group 2 Darley Tea Rose Stakes over the 1400m at Randwick.
Payne said the stable originally planned to head to Melbourne to target the Oaks, but with a Group 1 under her belt, she’s likely due a spell back in the paddock.
“Depending on how she pulls up we will back her up next week. Then she will go to the paddock. She’s a laid back filly, she eats well, so she won’t have to do too much this week. We’ll just see how she is in the next few days” Payne said.
Saturday marked win No. 5 in the Flight Stakes for Bowman, while it was also David Payne’s second Flight Stakes victory after winning back in 2003 with Unearthly.
Dame Giselle went on to run fourth after finding some traffic down he straight, while Vangelic did well for third in a fast run race.