Stay With Me has emulated her famous mother Miss Finland with a memorable Thousand Guineas victory at Caulfield which provided trainer David Hayes with a special moment.
Miss Finland won the Group One race for fillies at Caulfield nine years ago during a brilliant season in which she won four Group Ones to go with her Golden Slipper success as a two-year-old.
Stay With Me was making her Group One debut in Saturday’s 1600m feature and had to come from last early after jumping awkwardly.
Dwayne Dunn saved ground along the inside to the home turn on Stay With Me then angled into the clear at the top of the straight before the filly launched with her winning run.
“She’s the best-bred filly in Australia and I think she’s probably the best filly too now,” Hayes said.
Stay With Me ($8) raced to a 1-3/4 length victory over Jameka ($8.50) with 1-1/4 lengths to Badawiya ($5.50) third.
For Hayes it was special given he also trained Miss Finland and said it meant “everything”.
“`The Fin’ is the best filly I’ve ever trained, and probably this daughter is going to come pretty close to her I think by the time she’s finished,” Hayes said.
The win capped a Group One double on the day for Hayes and Tom Dabernig after Criterion raced to victory in the Caulfield Stakes.
Hayes believes the best is to come from Stay With Me and he said connections would have a team meeting before deciding which race she heads to during the Flemington carnival.
The Myer Classic and Mackinnon Stakes are options and she is also nominated for the VRC Oaks but Hayes said his gut feel was he might not stretch her out that far in trip this spring.
“We’ve won the Group One and that was the initial goal and we’ll see how she pulls up,” Hayes said.
Dunn said Stay With Me proved too good.
“She bombed the start and she switched off pretty good mid-race. I got a nice run through and she was too good,” he said.
Mark Zahra believes Jameka is an nice Oaks filly after settling back and coming wide before making her run for second.
Pasadena Girl started the $4 favourite and finished fourth.