More Joyous has had a $150,000 exercise gallop at Rosehill to win her 20th stakes race ahead of more challenging assignments this spring.
Sent into Saturday’s Group Three Golden Pendant (1400m) at $1.03, Sydney’s pin-up mare was never out of second gear, cruising to the line 2-1/2 lengths ahead of Skyerush ($41) to collect first prize.
The runner-up’s Guy Walter-trained stablemate Forarainyday ($91) was scratched from a benchmark race on Wednesday and picked up valuable black type with her third.
Owner John Singleton was quick to point out More Joyous’ place in Australasian history.
“She is just the seventh mare in history to win 20 Group races,” Singleton said.
“And how fortunate we are that we’ve got two of them racing now. It’s just incredible and it won’t happen again.”
Champion Black Caviar is the other mare still active while Sunline was the most recent before her.”
Still on a high from Pierro’s win in Friday night’s Stutt Stakes at Moonee Valley, trainer Gai Waterhouse said More Joyous did everything she expected.
“She is just so professional,” she said.
“I was pleased to see her go right to the line. I don’t want her to learn bad habits.
“Toorak here we come.”
Under the conditions of the Pendant, More Joyous carried just 59kg, the same as her previous start in the Sheraco, and Waterhouse admitted it was a luxury for a mare of her quality.
“We are afraid of top weights these days, afraid to give more than 60 kilos,” she said.
More Joyous won the 2010 Toorak Handicap (1600m) carrying 58kg and won this year’s Doncaster under 57.5kg.
She will carry 57kg in the Cox Plate, 7-1/2 kilograms more than three-year-old Pierro.
Waterhouse would not be drawn on a preference between the two in Australia’s weight-for-age championship for which Pierro is favourite ahead of the mare.
“Pierro is still learning,” she said. “More Joyous is a mature woman.
“I just have to get them there.”
Nash Rawiller will be aboard More Joyous in her Melbourne campaign with lightweight Craig Williams the leading contender to ride Pierro.