In her first appearance for almost a year, Golden Slipper runner-up English has shown a few pre-race nerves before settling down to claim a Group Two win at Randwick.
The filly tossed Tommy Berry off behind the barrier, then when the Challenge Stakes field jumped she was squeezed out of a run.
But all’s well that ends well with Berry steering her along the fence to grab a neck win over Kinglike.
“By the time we got behind the barriers she was almost dry on the neck again,” Berry said.
“She was relaxed and calmed down again until we got to the barriers when she got rid of me and didn’t want me on her anymore.
“She jumped OK and then we got squeezed out at the start.
“I was confident she was going to pick them up. We just needed the right run. Thankfully we got it at the right time.”
While Berry was confident he had enough time left in the 1000m dash to get through, trainer Gai Waterhouse was not so sure.
“I don’t know who was more worried,” she said.
“We were screwing our books up and we were chewing and everything she was doing was the wrong thing, but she knows where the winning post is, doesn’t she?”
Waterhouse said she would talk with owner Richard Kelly but said the TJ Smith Stakes, named for her late father, was a target.”
The TJ Smith might be a bridge too far for Redzel, winner of the Listed Fireball Quality (1100m) but his victory helped trainers Peter and Paul Snowden ease the pain to Capitalist’s defeat in the Todman Stakes earlier in the day.
It was Redzel’s first win since his debut success more than a year ago but Paul Snowden said a gelding operation may have helped the three-year-old turn the corner.
“I think having this horse gelded has helped him focus more in his races,” he said.
“He has been racing well this preparation and this win should give him confidence and hopefully he can go on with it now.”
Redzel ($7.50) held off Takedown ($18) to win by a neck with Egyptian Symbol ($4.20) coming from near last on the turn for third, more than three lengths further back.