On a day that Jimmy Choux strengthened his grip on Tatts Cox Plate favouritism with yet another Group 1 win in New Zealand, a couple of Sydneysiders put their hands up as key contenders for the $3 million weight-for-age championship of Australasia.
Classy mare Secret Admirer and hardy import My Kingdom Of Fife both scaled betting charts with impressive wins on Super Saturday at Randwick.
Secret Admirer put the disappointment of the previous week’s Shannon Stakes fourth placing behind her when she became the first mare in more than three decades to win the $500,000 Group 1 Epsom Handicap.
The Grahame Begg-trained mare was last and wide at the halfway mark of Sydney’s big spring mile, but unleashed a whirlwind finish to streak to victory over fellow females Pinker Pinker and Red Tracer and book a trip south.
“It was a matter about timing her preparation, I know she had plenty of knockers from last week but the ground didn’t suit her, the pace of the race (didn’t suit), the rail being out six metres (didn’t help),” Begg said.
“But we didn’t give up about this week and we just had her right on the day. That was what it was all about, today was her grand final in Sydney and now we’re going to Melbourne.”
The four-year-old daughter of Dubawi will be joined in Melbourne by My Kingdom Of Fife, who turned in a performance that was exactly what trainer Chris Waller wanted to see at his final Cox Plate lead-in in the Group 3 $125,000 Craven Plate (2000m).
My Kingdom Of Fife didn’t confront the class that Secret Admirer did, but he treated his rivals with contempt, coasting home by two lengths from Queensland Derby winner Shootoff and Gazza Guru.
“I know it’s ambitious, but everyone’s entitled to dream and that’s what the sport is all about and we’ll head to the Cox Plate and give it our best crack,” Waller said.
“We’ve got the benefit now of just backing off, getting him down there early, having a few track gallops and see what the rest of Australia can throw (at him).”
My Kingdom Of Fife and Secret Admirer, now $13 and $18 chances respectively in TAB Sportsbet’s Tatts Cox Plate market, were two of the big winners on Sydney’s biggest day of spring which saw three other Group 1 races decided.
Victoria had to wait until the final race of the day for its sole success with leading Victorian hoop Craig Newitt teaming with the Waller-trained The Verminator to take out the $400,000 Group 1 The Metropolitan Handicap (2400m).
The victory enhanced the consistent five-year-old’s hopes of a start in the BMW Caulfield Cup and Emirates Melbourne Cup. Although well down the Order of Entry for both races, he is liable for penalty for both races, which would increase his chances of a start.
Guy Walter claimed the day’s other two Group 1s, producing Doctor Doom to score an all-the-way win in the $400,000 Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes before seeing Streama destroy her rivals by more than six lengths in the $400,000 Group 1 Flight Stakes.
Across the Tasman, Jimmy Choux made it back-to-back Group 1 wins when he unleashed his trademark booming finish to sweep to victory in the Kelt Capital Stakes.
The John Bary-trained four-year-old is now the $5 favourite for the Tatts Cox Plate, to be run at Moonee Valley on 22 September.