English to head to T J Smith after Challenge Stakes win

Brilliant filly English will head towards the Group 1 T J Smith Stakes after a sensational win in the Group 2 $500,000 Hyland Race Colours Challenge Stakes (1000m) at Randwick today.

English scores a sensational first up win in the Challenge Stakes at Randwick. Photo by Steve Hart.

English scores a sensational first up win in the Challenge Stakes at Randwick. Photo by Steve Hart.

The Gai Waterhouse trained English was easy in the betting and drifted out to $5 after she sweated up badly in the parade ring and then dislodged rider Tommy Berry behind the barriers.

Then after being squeezed out at the start, Berry had to settle the Encosta De Lago filly near the tail of the field and ride for luck.

And that was what happened in the straight when Berry was able to secure a needle eye opening back towards the inside to slice through to hit the front at the fifty metre mark.

Melbourne colt Kinglike ($7) was back in form and dashed home from back in the field to run second with $21 outsider Boss Lane running is honest race to fill third spot.

“She jumped okay but squeezed out at the start,” Berry said.

“But we had ridden her quiet in the trial and I was confident that she would pick them up, just needed the right run and thankfully we got it at the right time.”

English was having her first run back since running sixth in the Group 1 $1m Inglis Sires (1400m) at Randwick during the 2015 Sydney Autumn Carnival and at her previous run was runner up to stablemate Vancouver in the Group 1 $3.5m Tooheys New Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill.

Waterhouse will target the Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 2, the first day of ‘The Championships’.

The leading lady trainer had previously won the T J Smith Stakes, named after he famous father, with Bentley Biscuit in 2007, Shamekha in 2005 and Phoenix Park in 2002.

“Everything she seemed to do was the wrong thing,” Waterhouse said.

“We are going to the T J, that is what you want to watch. Because I won the T J with a filly called Shamekha and she is just like her.”

The well supported $4.20 favourite Ball Of Muscle set a solid pace but faded in the straight to finish sixth, just over two lengths from the winner.


About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.