From political fillies to the racing kind...
It would be fitting if the super consistent and very talented filly Melito (pictured above) were to win the final Group One race for the 2009/10 racing year.
She has her chance in the Winter Stakes this weekend.
Racing since early March in top company, she won the Group One TJ Smith against the older horses and has been consistently placed in all the races she has contested in Queensland, lately only narrowly beaten by Black Piranha in the Stradbroke Handicap. Melito has drawn the outside barrier, which will make it difficult, but is sure to be in the finish, with any luck in first place.
The Winter Stakes is a weight for age race over 1400 metres for fillies and mares. It has attracted a class field that includes some familiar names of the autumn. Besides Melito, there is Set For Fame, whose Sydney campaign was disrupted by a virus infection. She was sent to Queensland in winter and won Group 2 Dane Ripper Stakes on 5 June. Her trainer Peter Moody stated that he was disappointed with that run, expecting her to win by a larger margin. She’s a very classy filly and one of the top chances.
Running her last race before being retired to the breeding barn is the Gai Waterhouse trained mare, Gold Water. She ran a ripper race in the Doomben Cup, fighting out the finish with Metal Bender only going down by a head.
Other contenders are Wealth Princess, winner of the listed Lady of the Turf Stakes back in May. She was however beaten by Set For Fame in the Dane Ripper Stakes. Beaded, and Readyor are also worthy of consideration.
The build up to the spring racing season is due to commence in a little over a month with the running of the Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes on the 31st July. Can’t wait!
This year marks the 150th anniversary of the running of the Melbourne Cup, which almost ensures it will be one of the best yet. It should attract a top field and include any number of International runners including the 2007 and 2008 runners up Purple Moon and Bauer. It would be nice to see a mare win for a change. Triple Cup winner Makybe Diva was the last mare to win, but over autumn and winter we’ve seen Jessicabeel take out the Sydney Cup and Dariana win the Queensland Derby, so they will be worth following in the spring, along with Faint Perfume (currently cup favourite), and will undoubtedly contest the big events.