The well named Rich Hips (Written Tycoon – She’s Curvaceous) returned full of running first-up, to the extent that she was able to take on and beat the well performed Perfect Jewel in a two-horse battle down the home straight in the Group 3 Mannerism Stakes at Caulfield.
Rich Hips had also won a Group 3 race in her final start last preparation before being given a three-and-a-half month break from race action. That win came in the HKJC Stakes at Flemington where she beat Lyre, so she certainly had the credentials to salute here and her high percentage first-up win record would have given her followers even more confidence going into the race.
The race unfolded perfectly for Rich Hips ($4.20). Sovereign Reward ($6) set the early target and Prefect Jewel (the $3.60 favourite) tracked that one in second place. That meant that Michael Dee on Rich Hips always has his main rival in his sights, and he was able to time his effort to perfection with the help of Rich Hips who responded well every time she was asked to move to the next gear.
“She has fantastic fresh-up form. We trialled her a couple of times a week apart just so she would have two weeks going into today, just to take the edge off her and Mick Dee put her in the best spot. He really gels with her,” said co-trainer Natalie Young (who trains with Trent Busuttin).
“I have got a great association with here,” confirmed jockey Michael Dee. “I’ve had a few wins on her now and each time … each prep she has stepped out … she has improved. Her first-up record is obviously very good, but she still improves as the prep goes on.
“I was actually quite surprised when Perfect Jewel jumped as well as she did. As it turned out I was quite happy because I knew she was the one to beat. I was going to be able to follow her everywhere.
“In the end we were just too good for it.”