Godolphin filly Banish has capped her spring preparation with a valuable Group Two win in the Fillies Classic at Moonee Valley.
Banish had won two benchmark races at Cranbourne in her four starts leading into Saturday’s 1600m race, which trainer James Cummings considered a target for the three-year-old.
After settling in the second half of the field, Banish made a sweeping run with eventual third-placegetter Touch Of Mink.
Banish ($7.50), with Craig Williams aboard, fought on strongly to defeat the closing I’ll Have A Bit by three-quarters of the length with the same margin to Touch Of Mink.
“She might well have found her grand final there and it was a huge effort,” Cummings said.
“She’s a tough Lonhro filly and had shown she had the ability to make sustained runs a couple of times already this preparation.
“She was brought here ready to peak on an important day and a Group Two next to her name is extremely valuable.
“But also it’s great to see the (Godolphin royal blue) colours on Cox Plate day get a good win.”
Jockey Rhys McLeod was suspended for six meetings for breaching the whip rules on seventh placegetter A Ma Shay.