Badawiya returned to the races for the first time since her third place finish in the Thousand Guineas with an exceptional victory in the 2016 Kewney Stakes at Flemington this afternoon.
Jockey Craig Newitt settled Badawiya just behind the speed in the early stages of the race and the leading hoop waited until the 350 metres before he asked her for an extra effort.
Badawiya showed an explosive turn-of-foot to put away her rivals quickly and she ran away from her rivals in the final stages of the race to record a very impressive victory.
Newitt gave Badawiya an ideal run in transit, but the talented jockey was brimming in praise for the Al Maher filly, who he believes is one of the best three-year-olds in Australia.
“She was ready to go a fortnight ago and we just had to scratch the morning of the race, but she trained on well,” Newitt said.
“We just had a little query about the 1400 first-up, but once she drew a soft run she was always going to get a soft run and she is one of the better fillies around.
“She has come back really good, her work had been super going into today and it is nice that she put in on the board.
“She ran third in a Thousand Guineas over a mile and to win over 1400 first-up is very promising.”
Mick Price admitted after the race that he was unsure whether Badawiya would be able to run out a strong 1400 metres first-up in the Kewney Stakes and he was delighted to see the three-year-old find the line as strong as she did.
Badawiya has been included in the nominations for the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m), Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m), Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) and Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m), but Price said that he may not set his sights that high with Badawiya and could keep her to races against her own sex and age group.
“She did no work, she got the trail behind the speed and when she hooked out it was the right time for her,” Price said.
“I had to try and catch-up for this 1400 metre race, I thought she was fairly ready at Moonee Valley, but obviously when you miss a run it puts you out a bit.
“I thought if she hung on in the last 100 metres and runs in the money it would be fantastic, but for her to win gives her a big tick.
“In the spring she would have been the lightest most insignificantly physically type in the Edward Manifold and she had a good spell at the right time.
“Even though she is still lightly-framed and a real filly, I think she had done fantastic and she looks great.
“She is still in the Doncaster and all that sort of thing, but I’m not sure that is the right race for her and I just want to keep her in fillies and mares and that type of stuff with her without being too ambitious.”
Don’t Doubt Mamma was settled at the tail of the field by jockey Dwayne Dunn in the early stages of the race, but she flew home late to finish second in a strong performance.