There was a large slice of redemption as Godolphin’s three-year-old filly Alizee stormed across the line under Glyn Schofield to win the $1m, Group 1 Coolmore Legacy Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday.
The filly had started her autumn campaign winning the Group 2 Light Finger Stakes over 1200m on the same track back on February 17th and she looked to be the leading filly of her year.
However she was subsequently unsuccessful in the Group 1 Surround Stakes over 1400m and the Group 1 Coolmore Classic over 1500m. The stable chanced their arm sending her out in the 2000m of the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes at Rosehill, but the filly could not manage the distance finishing fourth.
Back to 1600m again with the experience of those earlier runs under her belt she returned to her very best with a turn of foot for Schofield that left rest of the field of mare’s in her wake.
Schofield, for whom this was also a dose of redemption after a costly suspension in the middle of the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, settled Alizee third last in the 17 strong field and they stayed there until the top of the main straight.
Heading to the outside of the field for running room Schofield extracted Alizee at the 300m and then the big chestnut lengthen with speed to drop the field with 100m to run giving Schofield plenty of time to clench his fist in salute. The winning margin was 2L.
Watching on there was delight from trainer James Cummings and the Godolphin team as their well-bred filly claimed her second Group 1 victory after the Flight Stakes in the spring. She can now claim to be the best off her year group.
Prompt Response (Beneteau) and Blake Shinn were second with Heaven Above (Street Cry) and Tye Angland third, the margin 1/2L.
The time was 1.34.94 on the Good 4 with the final 600m in 34.84. Alizee paid $9.00 on fixed odds and $8.70 on the tote.
Glyn Schofield pumps his fist as he and Alizee head to the line, picture Sportpix.com.au
“She is just about the best three-year-old in the country. Returned with a blistering win first up over six furlongs on a good track and just waited to get back to Randwick on a track that suits her. I think the team just had her in the perfect condition today. She was trained up and showed what she can do when she gets to the Randwick mile, she absolutely loves it,” said Cummings.
“He got on the horse and just needed to get fresh air as not many have seen it this week. She just motored to the line. She is the sister to Astern who is at stud. We’ve got a Brazen Beau yearling who is one of the best colts in the stable. Oh what a family. It’s exciting to train horses as good as these. It is an absolute privilege to be saddling up horses for His Highness Sheikh Mohammed.
“You can have tough days. A few of our horses have been blocked for a run, it is hard to dwell on those stiff moments when you have a thrilling moment like that. We had Alizee here in perfect condition. We can feel proud,” he said.
“She’s a special girl. In the spring she was really dominant as a three-year-old against her own age,”said Schofield.
“To do this now, fantastic. James had this race in mind for a long time and all credit to him and the Godolphin team, they have presented her in great order today.
“She has found that really strong turn of speed which was lacking at the beginning of this preparation, but you can see how big she is, I think she just takes a bit of racing to get really race fit.”
“She was impressive today,” he said.
Alizee, by Sepoy out of the Exceed And Excel mare Essaouira, hs now raced 14 times for five wins and three placings with stakes of $1,295,850.
Glyn Schofield, picture Sportpix.com.au
Coolmore Legacy Stakes, photo finish picture ATC
What the beaten jockey's said:
Andrew Adkins (Daysee Doom): “She is a bit over the top. She raced a bit fresh and she may of had enough.”
Kerrin McEvoy (Foxplay): “From the gate we had to be a little quiet early. She rallied really well and hit the line strongly the last furlong.”
Corey Brown (Dixie Blossoms): “I had no luck whatsoever. She still looked the winner when she was topping the rise but she was facing the breeze and the wind is really strong out where I was.”
Blake Shinn (Prompt Response): “It is a bit of a bummer to run second because she is so deserving to win a Group 1 but full credit to the winner. My girl ran out of her skin again and her time will come in a Group 1.”
Craig Williams (Silent Sedition): “I felt she didn’t quite run out the trip so she was a bit disappointing.”
Tye Angland (Heavens Above): “She ran really well. We found a lovely spot. It was a little bit start stop but to her credit she hit the line strong. She just wants a little bit further.”
Mark Zahra (Spanish Reef): “She had to work a little bit from the gate but she has probably come to the end of it.”
Hugh Bowman (Zanbagh): “I had a lovely run. I just don’t think her heart is where it once once. I don’t know where they go from here.”
Michael Dee (Oregon's Day): “It got a bit messy through the midstages. The ones I was following were trying to come back and get cover. She’s run tough again.”
Damien Oliver (Payroll): “She was a bit plain today. She didn’t finish it off at her best.”
Damian Lane (Abbey Marie): “She ran so well. I couldn’t gain any momentum though and didn’t have a lot of luck in the straight.”
Jason Collett (Aide Memoire): “She had a wide run and it probably told late.”
Brenton Avdulla (Eckstein): “She tried her guts out. She travelled up behind Prompt Response but just wasn’t good enough to get past her.”
Joao Moreira (Samovare): “She was a bit keen early and she wasn’t able to finish off.”
Luke Currie (Perfect Rhyme): “She just never travelled.”
Dean Yendall (Nettoyer): “She ran awesome. They went at a quick gallop. I was happy to ride for luck and let her finish off really strongly.”
Alizee comes from deep in the field with devastating turn of foot, screaming home over the top to take out the Coolmore Legacy for @JamesCummings88 & @godolphin. @SchofieldGlyn plays it perfectly! pic.twitter.com/CrEZ7Rwg3O— Sky Racing (@SkyRacingAU) April 14, 2018