The past few years have not been easy for Rick Worthington but his spirits are soaring with the prospect of having a Golden Slipper runner.
The Warwick Farm trainer scaled back his operation to undergo experimental treatment after being diagnosed with stage three melanoma in 2012.
He is now looking ahead, in particular with Honesty Prevails who has staked her Slipper claims with a debut win in Saturday’s Group Three Widden Stakes at Rosehill.
A $720,000 yearling, Honesty Prevails ($4.80) scored a dominant 2-1/4 length win over Smart Amelia ($16) with Chipanda ($11) another head third.
The favourite So Serene ($3.20) behaved badly in the barrier and used up most of her energy before the race, finishing eighth of the 11 fillies.
“It’s a nice trip back from oblivion,” Worthington said.
“I’m just so pleased Trevor (Gluck) and the other owners gave her to me to train.
“I’ve only got a small team and for them to give me a filly of such quality, I’m really grateful.”
Worthington said he was attracted to the filly because of her athleticism.
“She was an expensive filly and she has a wonderful pedigree page but mostly she is an athlete,” he said.
Tye Angland rode the filly to her two barrier trial wins but had a previous commitment to Aghna, another who failed on the wet track and finished last.
Jason Collett grasped the opportunity and was effusive in his praise of the Redoute’s Choice filly.
“She is pretty good – an out-and-out racehorse,” Collett said.
“She took it all in her stride today and on the turn I was the only one travelling so I was pretty confident.
“The gap came and I decided to take it rather than wait and perhaps be unlucky trying to get out with 100 metres to go.
“What impressed me was how strong she was late.”
Honesty Prevails firmed from $26 to $15 for the Golden Slipper alongside Saturday’s Canonbury Stakes winner Tessera.
The market is dominated by Magic Millions winner Capitalist at $3.50.
Worthington said the Reisling Stakes at Randwick on March 5 was the likely lead-up for Honesty Prevails into the Slipper two weeks later.