Prominent Kiwi owner Sir Owen Glenn has another outstanding racing prospect on his hands in the form of Pure Elation (by I Am Invincible), a brilliant winner of the $600,000, Group 2, DMG Percy Sykes Stakes (1200m) on Day 2 of The Championships in Sydney at Randwick on Saturday.
Best known as the owner of the multiple Group 1 winner Criterion and his very talented half-brother Comin’ Through, Glenn has also been developing a top quality broodmare band in recent years and now has Pure Elation to look forward to — both shorter-term on the racetrack and longer-term at stud.
And based on what the brilliant juvenile filly produced at Royal Randwick this afternoon, there’ll be plenty to celebrate in the years to come.
Pure Elation and Michael Walker, picture Sportpix.com.au
Given a patient ride by Glenn’s retained rider Michael Walker, Pure Elation travelled keenly throughout the early stages of the contest and always gave the impression that she’d be playing a big part in the finish.
Produced on the outside of the field shortly after turning for home, Pure Elation hit the lead with 300 metres to run and never appeared likely to be caught thereafter.
Pure Elation scored by more than a clear length from Fiesta (by I Am Invincible). Claiming the minor placing was Outback Barbie (by Spirit of Boom), marginally ahead of the Godolphin pair Gongs and Cristobal in fourth and fifth respectively.
Speaking after the contest, winning jockey Michael Walker revealed: “I’ve always had a really good opinion of this filly; so have Peter and Paul [Snowden]. Today she was beautiful in running. She can tend to get her head up and be a bit strong, but she was a lot better today.”
Walker was quick to give the successful training partnership of Peter and Paul Snowden their share of credit. “They’ve done a tremendous job to keep her up for so long,” he remarked.
Walker then added in direct relation to Pure Elation: “I think she’s now earned herself a well deserved break. She’s the real deal, I’m telling you. The beautiful thing about it is my boss is here today, Sir Owen. We’ve got another good one boss.”
Speaking on behalf of the successful training partnership, Peter Snowden disclosed: “She was going to Melbourne for the [Blue] Diamond with the preparation all geared around that.
Both starts down there, things went pear shaped and they were bad runs really. Nothing went right in the race when we had her revved up and ready to go… no cigar there.
“My call was to give her a break and bring her back later, but through Sir Owen’s wisdom he said why not bring her back to Sydney and enjoy Sydney like she used to before.
“I was thinking all the way along with 2-year-olds, when you have them wound up, there is only one way and that is down. I did that, gave her a try, brought her back and I’ve got to say she has never missed a day since being here. Every day has been a good day. She’s been in a happy place.”
Snowden Snr added: “Her work has been great, her condition is fantastic; it’s testament to the horse. How much ability [she has] I’m not sure. She’s always shown good ability and she’s doing things in races that are arrogant.
“She ambled up to them today, put a gap in them and still floated around, so there is a heap of upside to her. I haven’t had a 2-year-old as tough as this, [one] that has been able to do this and come up again.”
Pure Elation saluted as the $4.00 favourite, with runner-up Fiesta being returned at $6.50 and minor placegetter Outback Barbie at $5.00.
Official margins were a length-and-a-quarter by a long head, the winning time being posted as 1m10.08s (last 600m in 34.54s).
Pure Elation has now won two of her first five career starts and $441,370 in earnings. She is the first foal to race of the stakes winning Hussonet (USA) race filly Member’s Joy.
Michael Walker, picture Sportpix.com.au
Percy Sykes Stakes, photo finish picture ATC
What the beaten jockeys said:
Ben Melham (Setsuna): “She ran well but got held up on straightening and was disappointed for a run.”
Kerrin McEvoy (Fiesta): “It was a good effort. I would have liked her to have gone a little better. We ended up back on the rail following the winner but it was a nice effort all the same.”
Damien Oliver (Khulaasa): “Disappointing.”
Joao Moreira (Outback Barbie): “She ran fantastic. She found a bit of a traffic jam in the straight. If that didn’t happen she would have won the race.”
Corey Brown (Gongs): “She ran really good. Six furlongs probably isn’t really her go. I think probably seven furlongs and beyond she is going to be much better.”
Brenton Avdulla (Cristobal): “I thought coming to the corner that maybe she was going to finish second. She was a little bit off today though in the last furlong.”
Michael Dee (Sweet Ava): “She stuck on okay but is probably looking for a bit of a spell now.”
Glyn Schofield (Sister Sledge): “She knuckled at the start and then overracced and hung in the straight so hopefully there isn’t an issue with her.”
Adam Hyeronimus (Kara's Hope): “She’s got a lot of talent but she just isn’t delivering raceday. Maybe give her a break and bring her back.”