Politeness Scores Impressive PJ Bell Stakes Win

Politeness stormed home from the back of the field to score her maiden metropolitan victory in the 2014 PJ Bell Stakes at Royal Randwick this afternoon.

Politeness scores an impressive win in the Group 3 PJ Bell Stakes

Politeness scores an impressive win in the Group 3 PJ Bell Stakes. Photo by Steve Hart

Trainer Robert Smerdon and jockey Craig Williams plotted a plan to settle Politeness at the tail of the field before allowing the Street Sense mare to show her impressive turn-of-foot and those tactics clearly paid off; with the three-year-old charging to an impressive victory from Cosmic Endeavour and Miniature.

There has been plenty of hype about Politeness since she made her racing debut last year and she failed to live up to those expectations during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, but Smerdon was happy to get another win on the board with the future broodmare.

“Obviously you have to ride her back; that is her pattern and her effective style,” Smerdon said.

“She got a long way back today and I thought that she had a lot to do, but she was terrific late.

“We did have a big wrap on her and she was always going to get better as she got older, but we had to learn about her.

“I probably blued with her and made a mistake of running her too much and riding her too close.

“We changed all that around and that is the real horse.”

Williams was critical of his own ride on Politeness when she finished a disappointing seventh in the Group 2 Edward Manifold Stakes (1610m) at Flemington during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival and was delighted to be able to atone for himself with a great ride in the PJ Bell Stakes.

Smerdon and Williams were only narrowly denied a Group 1 victory together when Anatina finished second in The Galaxy (1100m) a fortnight ago and the leading jockey said that he is happy to be riding winners for the veteran trainer.

“It was my second ride on her, my first ride I would love to forget, and I was grateful to get the opportunity,” Williams said.

“She was dominant and all credit goes to Robert Smerdon and his team.

“She was great, she got the visitors draw, but she really played with them today and she is a high quality filly.

“It was disappointing that we didn’t win the Group 1 with Anatina, but it was also a great job with the team to nearly do it with a filly like her.

“It is great that (owner) Phil Sly supported me and so did Robert Smerdon.”

Politeness will be served by leading Japanese sire Deep Impact at the end of the year and is a chance of heading to Adelaide to contest the Group 1 Robert Sangster Classic (1200m) at Morphettville on April 26.

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Thomas Hackett

Thomas is a passionate and opinionated racing journalist and punter who has been obsessed with horse racing since he backed Saintly to win the 1996 Melbourne Cup. An international racing enthusiast, he has his finger on the pulse of racing news not just from Australia but all around the world.