Gary Portelli‘s progressive filly Kimochi finally shed her bridesmaid’s tag with a thrilling nose victory in the 2024 Light Fingers Stakes at Randwick, kicking off a potentially lucrative Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival campaign.

Kimochi wins 2024 Light Fingers Stakes

Kimochi wins 2024 Light Fingers Stakes first-up for breakthrough Black-Type success. Photo: Steve Hart.

The talented daughter of Brave Smash, ridden by Jason Collett, edged out the promising Learning To Fly in a heart-stopping finish, avenging frustrating placements in last year’s Princess Series.

“That gate was a huge help,” said Collett. “She only had a short let-up too so very good.”

Kimochi had been knocking on the door throughout the spring, finishing second in the Group 1 Flight Stakes to Tropical Squall. Today, she showed true grit and determination, refusing to be denied her first major victory.

“I tell you, it’s an amazing feeling,” Portelli exclaimed. “She’s got that tenacity, hasn’t she? Love this filly.”

Learning To Fly, last year’s Golden Slipper victim of interference, showed immense promise in her return, putting in a strong performance for second. Her stablemate Kristilli rounded out the trifecta, further highlighting the depth of talent on display.

With eyes now set on the prestigious $750,000 Surround Stakes on March 2nd, Kimochi faces a tough challenge. However, her Light Fingers Stakes win proves she has the ability to compete at the highest level.

2024 Light Fingers Stakes Results

Finish No. Horse Trainer Jockey Margin Bar. Weight Penalty Starting Price
1 1 KIMOCHI Gary Portelli Jason Collett 3 56kg $6.50
2 3 LEARNING TO FLY Annabel Neasham Chad Schofield 0.07L 11 56kg $4.20F
3 5 KRISTILLI Annabel Neasham Zac Lloyd (a) 1.83L 8 56kg $18
4 12 STEFI MAGNETICA Bjorn Baker Joshua Parr 2.26L 9 56kg $26
5 7 FACILE Gerald Ryan & Sterling Alexiou Tim Clark 2.6L 2 56kg $13
6 2 TIZ INVINCIBLE Ciaron Maher James McDonald 2.83L 10 56kg $4.60
7 9 ARCTIC GLAMOUR Gerald Ryan & Sterling Alexiou Kerrin McEvoy 3.09L 7 56kg $6.50
8 6 AUTUMN BALLET Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott Adam Hyeronimus 3.96L 1 56kg $14
9 11 KIND WORDS Kris Lees Sam Clipperton 5.38L 5 56kg $81
10 4 MUMBAI MUSE Michael Freedman Tommy Berry 16.33L 4 56kg $6.50
11 13 I’M A STEEL Barbara Joseph, Paul & Matt Jones Dylan Gibbons (a) 18L 6 56kg $81
8 WEST OF DALBY Benjamin Smith Brock Ryan 0
10 BALLROOM BELLA Gerald Ryan & Sterling Alexiou Tyler Schiller 0

Table Credit: Racing Australia.

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About The Author

Lucy Henderson

Lucy is an experienced horse racing journalist that has been a crucial member of the team for the better part of a decade. She has taken great delight in covering champion mares Black Caviar and Winx throughout their careers and always has a soft spot for a winning filly.