After an injury-interrupted preparation, Politeness showed she’s back to her best with a terrific display in the Listed Bel Esprit Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday.
Settling just worse than midfield, jockey Dwayne Dunn pushed clear early in the straight and the mare let down strongly, storming over the top to beat Thermal Current and Gregers.
Politeness, who paid $13, was meant to race during the Sydney Carnival but a hoof injury halted those plans.
Trainer Robert Smerdon admits it was a frustrating period as the stable waited for the mare to come right.
“It was one of those unfortunate incidents, she was in the wash one morning and moved sideways, stood on one of her shoes with another so she pulled a plate off and then drove a nail into her foot,” Smerdon said.
“It was two steps forwards and one step back. Sometimes they get over them quickly, but hers has taken longer.
“I was confident she’d run well without being confident she would win the race.”
Politeness will now head to Morphettville for the Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes in a fortnight.
“Once we had to revise the preparation, we looked at Adelaide,” he said.
“She’s a multiple Group winner but we want a Group 1. The Sangster is her opportunity.”
The win completed a double for the Smerdon stable, after Fontein Ruby taking out the $250,000 VOBIS Gold Reef. She will also chase Group 1 glory in Adelaide, tackling the Australasian Oaks in two weeks.
Dunn also collected a brace after prevailing on Sunday Escape earlier in the day.
The second win temporarily gave him in a share of the lead at the top of the metropolitan premiership, but Craig Williams pushed one clear after taking out the last with Amorino.
There’s a three-way battle at the top with Williams on 41 wins for the season, just ahead of Dunn (40) and Damien Oliver (39), who rode in Sydney on Saturday.