Classy mare King’s Rose continued her march towards the $3 million Cox Plate with a gutsy win in the Group Two WH Stocks Stakes at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
The former New Zealander is unbeaten in two starts for leading trainer Peter Moody having won the Group Two Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield when resuming late last month.
Ridden by Luke Nolen, the Redoute’s Choice four-year-old started the $2.70 favourite and looked to be in trouble when Pinker Pinker ($3.60) got to her well into the straight.
But she kicked back to score by a head with Lady Lynette ($7) three-quarters of a length away third.
Both Moody and Nolen believe King’s Rose needs the addition of blinkers and she could have the head gear on when she has a rematch with Pinker Pinker in the Group One Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 2.
Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes winner Rekindled Interest has also been earmarked for the Turnbull.
“She got to the front and started to float a bit so she might be starting to look for the head gear,” Moody said.
“I thought Pinker Pinker had her but to her credit she fought back strongly.
“She’s a high-class mare, she’s got plenty in the tank and we learned a bit more about her today.”
Moody said the mare’s runs in New Zealand were always spaced.
“She’s a lean type of filly and didn’t do well so I basically didn’t train her into this, backing up in two weeks for the first time in a long time, so she’s got very good improvement and you might see her back here in a nice race (the Cox Plate) in six weeks time.”
Already a Group One winner in New Zealand, King’s Rose has won eight of her 14 starts and over $500,000 in stakes money.
Nolen said King’s Rose “has a look when she gets there”.
“When she’s got one to chase in trackwork she can really motor when asked but when she does get there, she’s done it a couple of times, she takes you quite unaware,” he said.
“She even shies and has a look and there is a lot to look at at Moonee Valley so we’ll forgive her again today although she only won by a narrow margin.
“But I think she’ll win a good race.”