She has become a much loved cult figure in Queensland because of her talent, her will-to-win, her name and her back story.
And all of that just enhanced a great deal more when SWEET DOLLY (Real Saga – Sweet Cherub) reached further into her kit bag than ever before to stave off the opposition and win the rich $500,000 QTIS Jewel at the Gold Coast.
That made four starts for four wins, but the 2YO filly will NOT be heading down the highway for the Gr 1 Golden Slipper.
“No, she will go to the paddock at my home and stay there for a few weeks then I’ll bring her back for the Dalrello and Champagne and that will be enough for her 2YO campaign,” said a delighted trainer Kevin Hansen from Rockhampton.
And that just means it was a very long way to drive from Rocky to compete in this race at the Gold Coast…made harder by the fact it was conducted on a heavy 9 surface.
“I thought if she got through the track she would win and I didn’t know until I let her head go if she would,” said rider Justin Stanley.
“I sat behind the pace to the turn then made her rail up as they straightened. And when she got to the centre of the track she went for two strides. Then she struggled from the 300m home and I had to nurse her as much as I could.
“But she tries so hard and is so tough. It was a tremendous win,” Stanley said,
What Queenslanders love about her and so should all of Australia is that she cost $1500 as a weanling, then was sold as a yearling for $10,000.
Today’s win takes her prize money to $477,000.
Today she hung tough to beat home fellow Rocky galloper AHOOSHU (Better Than Ready – Tranquility Rose) by half a length with the Canberra visitor KING GUTHO (Better Than Ready – Magic Model) a hard finishing 3rd, a centimetre away.
“Isn’t she a marvel? Just has matured every time we step her out. I was worried about the heavy track and you don’t know until you try them, but she got through it and we are all just so happy at the moment,” added trainer Hansen.
“And did you see the ride. He’s a bloody legend that Justin Stanley.”
“Right from the first time I galloped her I knew she was something special.
“Didn’t know she would win a race like this but I knew she was good,” said Hansen.