The photo above of Petits Filous has echoes of the great Black Caviar. They have a similar look; both dark brown with no white markings, though Petits Filous is nowhere near as large in size as the great mare. She’s a slight filly, but has speed and a determination to win that marks her as special. Whether she can emulate the exploits of Black Caviar is yet to be seen, but we followers of the turf live in hope that a new star of the turf has arrived.
Arriving at Caulfield at around 1.40pm, I was in good time get a position on the fence to view the runners in Race 4 going out onto the track. The Williams Plate was a race for mares over 1100 metres, and Vezalay was the hot favourite. Her racing silks looked familiar – they are in fact the same as Atlantic Jewel.
Vezalay led from start to finish and won by a good length to More Radiant with I’m A Flying Star three lengths behind, running third.
As there was 40 minutes to wait until Race 4 , the Group 3 Vain Stakes, I wandered out to the stalls area to see who had arrived.
The Gai Waterhouse contingent were nearby and the strapper of Giulietta was posing for an affectionate shot with her charge for another photographer, so I got into the act and snapped the following photo.
Next door to Giulietta was Excess Knowledge, a handsome British import who Gai Waterhouse says reminds her of 2013 Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente. He does have a similar look and is certainly a good looker.
Tasmanian star The Cleaner was also present in the next block of stalls.
And the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig newly imported stayer Dibayani was nearby and looks a magnificent beast.
Back in the mounting the colts and geldings were assembling for the Vain Stakes.
Whereas the previous mares race was run at a rattling pace, the Vain Stakes had no clear leader and seemed to be slightly slower, with runners bunched up and running wide at the turn. Demonstrate was blocked for a run and was never a chance. Gold Symphony and Top Me Up fought out the finish down the straight with Gold Symphony having the winning edge.
After the Vain Stakes was done and dusted I killed time till the Quezette Stakes getting a drink and watching the San Domenico Stakes on the big screen. Vancouver was rolled, finishing in 4th place. The honours went to the Chris Waller trained Japonisme who won his fourth race in succession. King’s Troop finished second and Haptic held on for third, after being up on the speed throughout the race.
As I mentioned in my previous post, the Quezette Stakes was the most interesting race of the Caulfield meeting with Petits Filous up against other unbeaten fillies like Miss Gunpowder and Don’t Doubt Marley as well as the smart Jalan Jalan.
The race was a ripper, run at the speed of light, with Petits Filous taking the lead shortly after the start and maintaining a blistering pace until the finish line, where she scored by 1¼ lengths from Jalan Jalan with Miss Gunpowder running third. It struck me as a natural trifecta – the three best fillies in the field taking out the first three places. As a matter of interest, Petits Filous race time was faster than Vezalay and Gold Symphony over 1100 metres.
I only stayed for one more race, that being the feature P.B. Lawrence Stakes. With such an evenly matched field it was hard to guess who the winner would be. The Cleaner kept it honest, taking up the running as usual. It finished with he and Mourinho going head for head down the straight and hitting the line together for a photo finish. Mourinho won by a whisker. Dibayani ran third a length behind.
It was a pleasant afternoon at Caulfield, the weather being on the whole mild with occasional sunny breaks. The Club was celebrating VP Day (Victory Over Japan) on Saturday, so there were military vehicles parked outside the Norman Robinson Stand, and old soldiers wandering about, laden with medals. An army gal sang the National Anthem surrounded by RAF cadets, before the feature race.
I’m looking forward to getting back to Caulfield in a fortnight for the Memsie Stakes and the true start of the spring racing season.