Owners of slow horses around the country were given a great boost on Thursday with the impressive stakes victory of Testa Rossa filly Chaillot at Flemington.
Trainer Archie Alexander has races such as the spring’s Thousand Guineas in mind for the filly now but he admitted that earlier this year, he couldn’t find anything to be upbeat about with the filly.
"Three months ago, you’d have given her away," Alexander said of the $25,000 yearling purchase from Adelaide. "She wasn’t doing a thing.
"If you’d offered me $5000 three months ago, I would have taken it.
"(She had) niggling issues. She was backward and couldn’t do any gallops. She was really struggling and then all of a sudden, after probably two little gallops, she grew wings."
Coming off a maiden win at Ballarat at the odds of $31, Chaillot started at $6 for jockey Craig Williams and she was able to outsprint Deserved ($7.50) to win by a length and three quarters with a half length to the $1.40 favourite Super Seth in third place.
Chaillot and Craig Williams, picture Quentinjlang.com
Alexander said Chaillot had earned herself a break and a shot at some of the spring’s big races for three-year-old fillies.
"It’s was a small field but, it’s a good race and look at her, she’s won it by two lengths," he said.
"You could not aim her for the (Thousand) Guineas now. It’s great. She’s got black type and it’s a massive day.
"When she arrived here today and when I looked at her I thought ‘this is a proper filly’ because she has trained really well, she was relaxed, she was happy and she looked really well.
"She was always going to the paddock after today and so she’ll go away and definitely aim at races like the Thousand Guineas."
Jockey Craig Williams later gave the owners the post-race report they’d dreamed of.
"She’s got all the attributes to be a really nice filly," Williams said. "Even when she walked into the yard and when she cantered to the start, she just has spring three-year-old written all over her.
"Today was great experience for her. She got amongst them and she was able to be tactically really good.
"When I asked her to sprint, she really had a good acceleration. She’s quite sharp and then she had that sustainability about her as well.
"I won the Thousand Guineas last year on Amphitrite and she’s done more than Amphitrite had done at this stage.
"So far, you’ve got the makings of a real classic type filly."
Jockey Clayton Douglas said the favourite Super Seth, who surprised by leading the field, was anchored by his big weight in the slowly-run race.
"He’s not a horse that leading really suits," he said. "He had 59 (kilograms) today. We had it quite easily and walked in front but he wasn’t able to pick up with the weight."
Anthony Freedman’s racing manager Brad Taylor agreed.
"It’s probably not the way to ride him," he said. "He just jumped and put himself there. They didn’t even break 15 seconds for the first furlong so they’ve gone very slowly.
‘"Then trying to pick up and sprint with 59 kilograms is always hard for a two-year-old.
"Not his day today but he’ll have a break now and come back in the spring and we’ll see the real Super Seth.
"He’ll probably be better ridden off speed and getting home like he did in his first two (runs)."