Grahame Begg’s decision to wait for the Chairman’s Stakes with Mildred has been vindicated, with the two-year-old filly racing to a satisfying victory in the Group Three race at Caulfield.
Begg had initially planned to kick off the stakes-winning filly’s preparation a week earlier in the Blue Diamond Preview but the trainer thought she was just lacking in fitness and needed a couple more gallops before being unleashed in Saturday’s Chairman’s.
With Jordan Childs aboard, Mildred ($13) took up the lead early and was never headed in the 1000m race despite Aryaaf ($2.70) moving up on her inside to issue a strong challenge in the straight.
Mildred pulled clear of Aryaaf late to win by a length in the soft conditions with debutant Frederick The Dane another 4-1/4 lengths away third.
“It’s very exciting,” Begg, who brought up a winning double on the day, said.
“It just vindicated that we waited that extra week. I get more satisfaction out of that, making the right call.
“You can be a mug and make the wrong call plenty of times. But when you get it right, it’s a big thing.”
Mildred won Melbourne’s first juvenile race of this season at Flemington over 900m in September and also the first stakes race at the same track in the Listed Maribyrnong Trial (1000m) 11 days later.
Saturday’s win was the professional filly’s third from four starts and while the Chairman’s is a lead-up towards the Group One Blue Diamond (1200m) on February 22, Begg is not committed to starting the filly.
He said she was likely to run in the Listed Talindert Stakes on February 15 because of her effectiveness up the Flemington straight and he believes it’s an opportunity to further enhance her CV.
He has not ruled out a Blue Diamond start a week later.
“She backed up quickly from her first start to her second start so it’s a very real possibility,” he said.
“But we’ve got nothing set in stone. We might head to Sydney and possibly run in something up there. It’s all about building her resume up. She’s won a Listed and she’s now won a Group Three.”
Begg won the Blue Diamond with brilliant colt Written By two years ago, who like Mildred was ridden by Childs and owned by Begg’s father Neville.
The filly was bought by Neville Begg for $45,000 as a yearling and he named her Mildred which was the stable name of the former champion mare he trained, Emancipation.