The Aaron Purcell-trained Lady Esprit has defied her starting price and stormed over odds-on favourite Snitty Kitty to win the Listed WJ Adams Stakes at Caulfield.
Lady Esprit was sent out the $51 outsider in Saturday’s 1000m sprint, with Snitty Kitty the $1.75 favourite in her return from a spell.
Snitty Kitty began quickly and led by a couple of lengths in the final 200m before Lady Esprit sprinted down the outside to win by a long neck.
The favourite had to settle for second, with another half-length to Nasdex ($3.90) in third.
Purcell said they hoped the race would pan out well for Lady Esprit’s “swooping style” but connections were unsure whether the mare was up to the task.
“We didn’t know if she was good enough but there you go,” Purcell said.
“We probably didn’t really want to be racing Snitty Kitty today but with her rating there wasn’t a lot of options for her. We were hoping she would be able to run a place but obviously she’s a stakes winner now, which is really good.”
Lady Espirt had placed three times at Listed level but Saturday’s win was her first black-type win.
The five-year-old had finished last in her most recent start at Moonee Valley in a 1000m benchmark-84 on December 23 but struck interference and was blocked for a run.
“With get-back sprinters, you always need luck,” Purcell said.
“It didn’t work out at all last start.
“Today it’s worked out really well.”