Promising filly Jolie Bay produced a strong finish to overtake the favourites to score a narrow win in the Group 2 $175,000 Vili’s Pies Roman Consul Stakes (1200m) at Randwick today.

Jolie Bay

Jolie Bay (number 7) produced a strong finish to win the Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes. Photo by: Steve Hart

Jolie Bay was stepping up from a Class 1 win at Hawkesbury to Group 2 company and once Jay Ford pulled her to the middle of the track the Fastnet Rock filly powered home to grab Knight Exemplar right on the line.

In the foggy conditions, favourite Ichihara led the small field into the straight but was quickly collared by Your Song and Knight Exemplar before Jolie Bay arrived on the scene.

“She’s a real performer, she tries her heart out and she showed it today. When she got balanced up she really hit the line,” Michael Hawkes, representative of Team Hawkes in Sydney, said.

Even tough Jolie Bay was facing a huge rise up in class, winning rider Jay Ford was confident the filly was up to the task.

“She’s a serious filly. I know she only won a Class 1 the other day at Hawkesbury, I came into the race today fairly bullish about her chances. She gave me a really good feel at Hawkesbury,” Ford said.

“The way she won the other day at Hawkesbury she was entitled to have a shot at a race like this.”

Punters were off to a bad start on Epsom Day after Ichihara was the third favourite to get beaten from the first three races.

Ichihara, the $1.80 favourite headed for home in front and after being headed at the 350m battled on to finish fourth, two lengths away.

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.