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Image: Steve Hart
Another stakes assignment beckons for Lady Laguna after she posted her first Group race win.

Annabel Neasham has credited Lady Laguna’s rich vein of form to maturity after the mare strung together her third consecutive win in the Group 3 Southern Cross Stakes at Rosehill.

While the four-year-old has only missed a place six times in 22 starts – five of those in Melbourne and the other in the 2022 Golden Slipper – she has raised the bar to another level this summer.

Since resuming with a second at Randwick in December, Lady Laguna has notched victories in the Listed Nudgee Stakes (1200m) at Doomben, the $1 million Magic Millions Fillies and Mares’ (1300m) at the Gold Coast and now the Southern Cross Stakes (1200m), her first Group success.

“I haven’t changed anything with her really. She has never run a bad race,” Neasham said.

“She’s a star, she’s three on the bounce now. Her CV’s getting bigger and bigger.

“The great thing with her is she’s so diverse. She’ll go on a bottomless track, she’ll go on a firm deck. She can be on-speed, she can sit back.

“She jumped really well today which was pleasing to see because she was coming back in trip from two runs where she had been ridden a bit quieter.”

Lady Laguna ($2.25 fav) stalked leader Malkovich before getting the better of him halfway up the straight and spearing clear to beat Hard To Say ($4.20) by 1-3/4 lengths with Malkovich ($5) holding third, another three-quarters of a length further back.

Neasham nominated the Group 2 Millie Fox Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill in three weeks as the mare’s likely next target.

“She just makes her own luck, she’s very tenacious and I think she will just keep on improving and hopefully we can pick off a race like the Millie Fox in a few weeks,” she said.

“It would be great if she could stretch out a little bit further (in journey) because obviously there’s a couple of nice mares’ races at the top level. We’ll just take it a race at a time, but delighted with that.”

 
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