A very generous pace set during the running of the $200,000, Group 2, Chandon S Phar Lap Stakes (1500m) saw Unforgotten (by Fastnet Rock) come from last on the turn to claim the valuable event in the very final stride at Rosehill Gardens in Sydney on Saturday afternoon.
A quality 3-year-old contest made up of seven talented colts-geldings and three equally gifted fillies, the race saw easing favourite Shumookh ($2.90 fav) make the running and set a very solid pace that had the 10-horse field stretched out over many lengths.
As Shumookh was allowed to bold along in front, eventual winner Unforgotten and subsequent runner-up Holy Snow (by Fastnet Rock) were found way out the back of the field being saved for a late challenge in the straight.
The ploy ultimately worked to perfection.
The closing stages of the contest saw Shumookh compound close to the inside rail as Holy Snow and Unforgotten were charging home down the centre of the track.
No sooner had Holy Snow hit the lead and looked the likely winner, Unforgotten was then to claim her paternal half-brother before finishing too strongly in the shadows of the post.
Unforgotten scored by a short-head, clocking 1m29.12s, the final 600m of the contest having been run in a relatively sedate 35.03s.
Holy Snow and Blake Shinn (green and white) and Unforgotten and Jason Collett (green and black and white), picture Sportpix.com.au
Finishing a game third in the contest was Hiyaam (by High Chaparral) after racing close to a hot pace during the middle stages and appearing to knock-up at the top of the straight. The staying bred filly came again over the final stages to finish a gallant minor placegetter, beaten two and three-quarter lengths into third.
Starting prices of the first three were $9.50 Unforgotten, $5.50 Holy Snow and $13.00 Hiyaam.
Unforgotten barrier trialled just two days before the Phar Lap in order to qualify for the race after suffering from Heart Arrythmia at her previous outing. Winning trainer Chris Waller was full of praise for the filly’s effort after the win as well as the process and protocols that allowed her to take her place in the field.
“We rode her quiet and let her finish off,” explained Waller. “That is how she won her races in the Summer when she was starting to build her reputation. That is how we rode her today.
“We were talking [Group 1] Vinery Stakes third-up, so she is on a two-week stint to that race now.”
In terms of the filly’s unusual preparation Waller said: “Originally the trials were Tuesday and they were put off because of the wet weather. Full credit to the Stewards, not just for allowing us to trial Thursday but also making her trial from the punter’s perspective.
“It was only over a short distance. Just enough to get her stimulated and make sure she pulled up well.
“I’m adamant it [Heart Arrythmia] is more a stress related thing… a bump in running or missing a stride. They get out of their rhythm and it upsets their heart. It comes back to normal straightaway. They don’t pull up distressed. They just can’t find top gear and subsequently they don’t get ridden right to the line.”
Winning jockey Jason Collett said in reference to the win and his very cool ride: “It is good to be here and getting on some nice fillies like this one. Those were Chris’ instructions [to ride her back in the field]. If you looked at her last prep, she was always better when she was allowed to relax early. She has a nice turn of foot and was very strong to the line.”
Unforgotten is raced by Mr C J Waller, Magic Bloodstock Racing, Mr F W Cook, Mrs C M Cook, Mr N A Greenhalgh, Mrs M T Greenhalgh, Mr R Shrimpton, Mrs C Shrimpton, Mr I Bruce, Mr R Smith, Mr P Y W Ng, Mr K H Warriner, Mr J T C Lake and Mr B L Mathieson. Her seven career starts have now yielded four wins and one second for $307,020 in earnings.
Phar Lap Stakes, photo finish picture ATC
What the beaten jockeys said:
Blake Shinn (Holy Snow): “Ran a great race, he settled lovely at the back, speed was genuine, he loomed into the race like the winner but just got overhauled late by a very promising filly. My horse is certainly a smart horse as well.”
Kerrin McEvoy (Muraaqeb): “He didn’t begin great but he stayed on like he wanted a bit further. Something like the Frank Packer Plate.”
Corey Brown (Sanctioned): “I was a little disappointed, had a great run in transit but never really attacked the line.”
Craig Williams (Calculated): “I’ll be very interested to see how the horse comes through the run because he was clearly disappointing on face value.”
Brenton Avdulla (Renewal): “He ran okay, he got caught a little bit wide early and had to press on which found him wanting late.
Michael Dee (Octabello): “Probably just needs further, he’s not showing much of a turn of foot at the moment.”
Glyn Schofield (Paret): “He travelled in a good spot but had no finish.”
Unforgotten, picture Sportpix.com.au