Trainer Chris Waller was denied his sixth success in the Group 2 $250,000 Apollo Stakes (1400m) instead having to settle for second and third as Godolphin’s returning Golden Eagle winner Colette ran away with the race first-up.
Winner of the ATC Oaks last autumn and the $7.5 million The Golden Eagle last time out in the spring, the James Cummings-trained Hallowed Crown mare was forgotten by the punters fresh as a $12 chance in the Apollo Stakes.
Colette however was outstanding in the event, relishing the wet track to retain her unbeaten record on Soft – Heavy going, and given a wonderfully patient ride by jockey Rachel King.
Race favourite was Waller’s returning Caulfield Cup champion Verry Elleegant, but she threw it away missing the kick to settle last before over-racing throughout.
It was eventual last-past-the-post and roughie hope Prince Fawaz leading the Apollo Stakes field around, while Waller’s inaugural Golden Eagle winner Kolding settled nicely up in second on the inside fence.
Colette was in third box seating nicely, as Verry Elleegant tried to push up behind them.
Five-year-old Ocean Park gelding Kolding ($4), last seen running second last in Melbourne’s Group 1 Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m), easily got to Prince Fawaz on the straight and looked like he would return to winning form.
But eyes quickly went to Colette ($12) who lay it down to Kolding, taking the lead at the 150m and flying off for a brilliant two-length victory as Verry Elleegant ($2.50) got up to run a neck further back third as the beaten favourite.
There are options galore now for Colette over the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, the Royal Blue brigade likely to target a second-up run at Randwick on February 27 in the Group 1 $600,000 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m).