Libertini lit up the Randwick track on Saturday with a superlative performance winning the $200,000, Group 2 Darley Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on Saturday with the Anthony Cummings trained filly eased down to win by 2 1/4L, smashing the Class record and nearly the track record.
The market had made the I Am Invincible filly the firm favourite all week paying $1.50 on fixed odds and $1.40 on the tote. Supporters watched Tommy Berry sit behind the two leaders Pretty Brazen with Luke Currie and Villami with Tim Clark as they went across the High Street and it was only a matter of time before he let his filly go.
Berry allowed Libertini to stride up to the leaders at the 400m and then he paused until the 225m and then he clicked her up again. Libertini galloped away with infinite ease and Berry looked to his right at the infield broadcast screen to check on progress before easing the filly down.
The rest sorted themselves out with Flit (Medaglia d’Oro) and Hugh Bowman second with a nose to Let It Pour (Redoute’s Choice) and Brenton Avdulla and Villami keeping on well for fourth.
The time of 1.07.93 on the Good 4 with the final 600m in 33.16. The previous Class record was Houtzen with 1.08.64 while the track record is Santa Ana Lane’s 1.07.45.
Tommy Berry checks the infield broadcast screen, picture Sportpix.com.au
“She is that good. Today was another step in proving that. I thought she could win as comfortably as that. Maybe the others might run on more strongly. I did not expect the race to be run as quickly as it turned out to be. She is that adaptable it doesn’t matter,” said Anthony Cummings.
“He had to ease her down a bit and save some for next time. Just need to keep her healthy and well. When she steps up to the mile we step up and change the nature of her work. Just let her understand what is required on race day.”
“Like a lot of good horses it actually feels like you’re in slow motion. She quickens without you even feeling it and that’s why I had a look at the big screen to see how far they were away," said Berry.
“She pulled away from them pretty easy so for her to run that sort of time and get eased down the last 80-100m, it’s pretty exciting.
“I am not sure how much is left because even when she pulled away from the main bunch it still felt like she was waiting for them a little bit so I am not sure.
“Her mentality is probably her biggest plus. She is very quiet, very calm, she relaxes well. When I pulled her up down the side she just stared around for a few minutes. She is a beautiful horse to have something to do with and hopefully I can stick with her.
“She is right up there with some of the better horses I have ridden at the same stage. The better horses I have ridden when they were going through the grades you could tell they had that X factor about them and she gives me that same feel,” he said.
Libertini is out of the Group 1 winning Encosta de Lago mare Aloha and she is co-owned by Gerry Harvey and John Singleton.
She last raced in the listed Woodlands Stakes over 1100m at Scone in May which was her second win in succession from three starts. She was second to Bivouac in the Group 3 Kindergarten Stakes over 1100m at Randwick in April on debut. Stakes are now $280,950.
Libertini will now proceed through the rest of the Princess Series with the next race the Group 2 Darley Furious Stakes (1200m) on September 7th.
Berry enjoys the result, picture Sportpix.com.au
What the beaten jockeys said:
James McDonald (Tenley): “She is going okay, they have obviously come home in very slick time, which made it hard for her, but I think she will appreciate when she gets out over a mile. That is what she is more feeling like at the moment.”
Hugh Bowman (Flit): “She is a beautiful filly and she’s come back well, we thought she would run well and that is exactly what she did.”
Tim Clark (Villami): “She went excellent, she just didn’t settle as well as I would have liked, but she has done a good job.”
Brenton Avdulla (Let It Pour): “She went terrific, she had the back of the winner, but it quickened like a good filly, my filly still went enormous, she’s probably the best maiden in the country.”
Luke Currie (Pretty Brazen): “Worked a bit with the horse outside it, but was a little bit weak late.”
Jason Collett (Steel Diamond): “Felt the track.”
Silver Shadow Stakes, photo finish picture ATC