A smart piece of navigation by jockey Jason Collett brought home the Hayes and Dabernig trained two-year-old filly Futooh to win the $150,000, listed China Horse Club Mile (1600m), the opening race of the Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes meeting at Randwick on Saturday.
Futooh and Jason Collett (blue) with Muswellbrook and Mark Zahra outside, picture Sportpix.com.au
The Sebring filly was racing for the fourth time since the Group 2 Sweet Embrace Stakes over 1200m at Randwick on March 3rd with not much going right until Saturday. Earlier than that she had won at Randwick over 1200m on January 6th.
Backing up from the Baillieu over 1400m last Saturday into the Fernhill Handicap this week she was allowed to find her feet at the rear of the field by Collett. They were second last going across the High Street side.
Collett improved with Futooh (56kg) through the turn for the run home and they then faced a wall of horses out in mid-field at the 400m. The options were not great for Collett, but he saw the start of daylight inside towards the rails and from the 300m he started to head in that direction.
The stablemate Muswellbrook (58kg) and Mark Zahra were leading and looking good, but the inside passage by Collett and Futooh was paying off with further room inside Muswellbrook and that is where they went.
Muswellbrook moved left as he spotted the filly coming through inside him and that was more than enough for Futooh to run straight and true to the line for a long neck win. Muswellbrook (Denman) balanced again under Zahra, but their momentum had been interrupted and they finished second with 1L to the $3.70 favourite Aristocratic Miss (Foxwedge) (56.5kg) and Luke Currie in third.
The time was 1.35.48 on the Good 4 track in a new race record and the final 600m in 36.37. Futooh paid $7.50 on fixed odds and $8.70 on the tote.
Co-trainer Ben Hayes said the stable had been critical of the ride in her previous race when the filly was sent forward.
“Today Jason was excellent, he was negative from the barrier and she really has that turn of foot. We have always had an opinion of her and it is nice to see her win as she gets out to the mile,” he said.
Hayes said the stable would assess the filly after the race before making a decision on backing her up again for the $500,000, Group 1 Moet & Chandon Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Randwick next week.
Futooh, out of the Dubawi mare Golden Millennium, is raced by Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Shadwell Stud Australasia arm and this was her second win from six starts with earnings now of $169,450.
Win number two for Futooh at Randwick, picture Stevehart.com.au
China Horse Club Mile, photo finish picture ATC