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Slightly Sweet has staved off retirement with a win in the Listed Winter Stakes
Image: Steve Hart

Retirement may have to wait for Slightly Sweet, which has brought back memories of her three-year-old season with victory in the Listed Winter Stakes at Rosehill.

Now a five-year-old, the mare trained by Jason Coyle for the Esplin family has been slated for the broodmare barn in the spring.

While she may or may not have run her last race, Slightly Sweet has given jockey Jess Taylor her first black-type success by sticking her head out to beat Queensland visitor Man Of His Word.

Punters shied away from Slightly Sweet ($26), despite an unlucky third behind Gold Symphony in the recent Civic Stakes.

“She has been racing well but hasn’t had a lot of luck so we put the blinkers on and they seem to have worked,” Coyle said.

“The Esplin family have been great supporters of mine but I’m not sure what they will decide to do.

“She has a good pedigree and so is a very valuable broodmare.”

Slightly Sweet was a dual Group Three winner at three years old but until Saturday, she hadn’t won a race since the James HB Carr Stakes in April 2015.

Slightly Sweet, Man Of His Word ($18) and Elle Lou ($17) made their runs together with a head-and-a-half head separating the three.

Shiraz, which finished fourth, was otherwise occupied behind the placegetters, turning his head seemingly in an attempt to bite Burning Passion.

Josh Parr said he felt Shiraz get his boot on his way to connecting with Birning Passion’s rump.

But all was fine up front, especially for Taylor, whose career has been interrupted twice by wrist injuries.

“It hasn’t really sunk in,” she said.

“I’m just over the moon. It’s my new favourite horse of course.

“I’m 26. I started my apprenticeship at Gosford, finished it at Warwick Farm and ever since then I’ve been riding a lot of work at Warwick Farm, Kembla and Hawkesbury and just trying to build some good grounding with trainers.

“They’ve been really supportive, especially Jason, so I really appreciate it.

“She was really tough the last hundred metres.”

Slightly Sweet brought up a winning double for Coyle after Insensata won a benchmark race with Adam Hyeronimus aboard.

 
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