Sydney’s first lady of racing Gai Waterhouse returned to the scene of her triumph in last year’s BMW Caulfield Cup in fine style scoring another Group 1 victory at Caulfield on Saturday afternoon.
Waterhouse’s golden girl More Joyous proved too good for her rivals when winning the $500,000 Rokk Ebony Futurity Stakes over 1400-metres.
It was the four-year-old mare’s 10th win from her past 11 starts and came on top of her triumph in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield during last year’s Spring Racing Carnival.
More Joyous, who started the $1.45 favourite, will return to Sydney for April’s $2 million Doncaster Handicap (1600m) before embarking on a second tilt at the Tatts Cox Plate later this year.
The brilliant mare finished fifth in last year’s Cox Plate behind superstar So You Think after leading.
Waterhouse, who ended a Melbourne feature race drought when Descarado won the Caulfield Cup, was typically upbeat about the performance of More Joyous who is owned by John Singleton.
“It was just so exciting,” she declared. “The pressure’s on you when you’ve got a big-time horse. Firstly, the public expect it (victory) and, most of all, the owners expect it, so we’re very relieved when she does what we know she can do.
“How lovely to be able to come here and have a horse good enough to win this race. She’ll go back to Sydney because she’s set for the Doncaster.”
Winning jockey Nash Rawiller said it was a pleasure to ride such a talented horse who made his job easy in the Futurity Stakes, a race that doubles as the opening leg of the 2011 Asian Mile Challenge.
“Once you get on her back and you get out there and get amongst it, it all seems easy,” he declared.
More Joyous enjoyed a charmed run third behind the speed before forging clear at the 300-metre mark and holding off fast finishing crowd favourite Whobegotyou ($6.50) by three-quarters-of-a-length. Last year’s runner-up Dao Dao ($26) was again in the money finishing third.