Stealing all the glory on Day 2 of The Championships at Randwick was Coolmore Stud’s champion So You Think, who will rocket to the head of the stallion’s table, earning a third consecutive G1 winner when Damien Oliver coaxed the 5yo mare Nimalee to an easy victory in the Queen Of The Turf Stakes.
Trained by Mattew Smith, Nimalee broke a 53-week run of outs in defeating Annavisto (Reliable Man) by two and a quarter lengths with Icebath (Sacred Falls) a head back in third.
The winner of the G2ATC Emancipation Stakes last April, Nimalee advances her record to seven wins, five seconds, and a third from 22 starts with earnings of $1,149,530.
“Finally, a Group 1 in Sydney,” Smith said..It was not for lack of trying mind you, we’ve had a few swings.
“You have a mare like this, as a trainer, you want to be winning a Group 1 with her if you can, but sometimes they don’t.
“Today it just all went to plan, got the right run behind the speed and she was strong to the line.”
“I said to Damien in the paddock before the race ‘I think it’s about time we won one in Sydney’ and he was confident.
“I knew the mare was right so just need a bit of luck in running. It’s a tough race, but she’s a good mare.”
“She raced really well in Melbourne last prep, fourth in a G1 there and wasn’t beaten far. We knew she was right up with these mares it was just a matter of getting the conditions right, and she handled the track well today. It’s a good win.”
Bred by Cressfield, she is a three-quarter sister to G3 placed The Chairman, out of the Zabeel mare Dezign, an unraced half-sister to G2 winner Star Fashion from G2 winner and Hong Kong Derby heroine Elegant Fashion.
“Lester [Durney] does his short list and asked me to look at them and I went back to him and said ‘this is the one’ so he’s bought her and today she’s won a Group 1 so it’s fantastic,’’ Howard said.
“Full credit to Matt Smith, she’d been set for this race for quite some time so to get the result against some outstanding fillies and mares is a fabulous achievement.’’
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