The red-hot Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott team continued their brilliant run of form at Randwick on Saturday as Never Been Kissed won the Group 1 Flight Stakes in a 40-1 boil-over.
The daughter of Tivaci was a long outsider in the fillies feature following a disappointing run in the Tea Rose, but with rain falling and the favourites struggling to make up ground, it was the New Zealander who exploded with a late run for the ages.
After the pace quickened out of the turn, Swift Witness looked set to greet the judge first, but Regan Bayliss had other ideas as she laid it down to the stablemate in the final stages.
The win marked the fourth Group 1 for Bayliss, while it was also the 10th Flight Stakes win for Gai Waterhouse after she last won the race with Global Glamour back in 2017.
“Just thought she [Never Been Kissed] would be a nice filly once she got out to this sort of trip,” trainer Adrian Bott said afterwards.
“She didn’t quite have the brilliance of these fillies or wasn’t quite seasoned enough to be taking them on over the shorter sharper trips.
We were able to link in once she got over a bit further. I thought she ran well in the Tea Rose, unfortunately she was caught wide and covered plenty of ground. They weren’t making up much ground that day so I felt she stuck on very well.”
After gunning past Swift Witness, Never Been Kissed still had some work to do with the fast-finishing Hinged exploding along the rails.
Fitter for three runs back though, including a pair of wins at Hawkesbury and Newcastle, the mile looked to be the only query on the day.
Hinged, the Chris Waller-trained three-year-old, was enormous in her second run back, however, while Startantes cut through the rain-affected ground from the rear of the field to finish third.
There was no such luck for Four Moves Ahead, who went backward down the straight after looming as the winner.