A late charge from Sydney mare I Am Excited has clinched a last-to-first win in the Group Two Gilgai Stakes at Flemington.
Trainer David Pfieffer was keen to get I Am Excited onto the straight course at Flemington in the Gilgai after the four-year-old had finished second and fourth respectively in two Group Three races at Caulfield this campaign.
I Am Excited was narrowly beaten in her only previous try on the straight course at Flemington last spring and Pfieffer was thrilled to see the mare arrive in time under Kerrin McEvoy to win Saturday’s 1200m race in a tight finish.
“I just think the Caulfield track hadn’t been suiting her that well,” Pfieffer said.
“In her first start there it was very obvious she didn’t cope with that turn for the first time. The next time she just got held up a fraction and she had to stop and start her momentum which doesn’t suit her.
“I was a bit more confident coming to Flemington, being down the straight and getting away from a turning track.”
Pfieffer now plans to run I Am Excited in the Group Three Begonia Belle Stakes (1100m) for mares at Flemington next month with the prospect of backing up a week later in the Group One VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) should she perform well again.
“It’s probably not a dumb idea to have a throw at the stumps,” Pfieffer said.
I Am Excited, who firmed from $8 to $4.60, finished closest to the outside rail in the 10-horse field and got home by a half-neck over Eduardo ($8.50) with a half-head to Bons Away ($8.50) third.
“She did a good job because I was a long way off them,” McEvoy said.
“Dave said to cover her up and get her to finish strong.
“It wasn’t until the last 50 metres that I thought I had got the race now, but she finished really well.”