Calliope overcame a poor start to record an impressive victory in the 2015 Gimcrack Stakes at Royal Randwick this afternoon.
Calliope showed early speed in a barrier trial at Royal Randwick on September 21, but she was the last horse out of the gates in the Gimcrack Stakes and she was two lengths off the rest of the field in the early stages of the race.
Jockey James McDonald maintained his cool throughout the race and Calliope worked her way through the field and he was forced to bump a couple of other horses out of his way to give the daughter of Exceed And Excel the chance to finish over the top of her rivals and record a most impressive win.
The talented hoop said that missing the kick may have been the best thing possible for Calliope because of the hot, early tempo in the race and he was thrilled with the turn-of-foot that he showed to win the 2015 Gimcrack Stakes.
“They are all very green and mine was just a little bit fractious in the gates which wasn’t ideal, but in hindsight they ran very quickly and it was probably a blessing in disguise,” McDonald said
“The turn-of-foot was amazing and she is a true professional.”
Trainer John O’Shea admitted that he was worried when Calliope missed the start, but he said that he started to gain confidence when he saw just how well the two-year-old was travelling in the early stages of the race.
O’Shea confirmed that Calliope would now head to the spelling paddock and he is hopeful that she will be able to stack up in the major two-year-old races during the 2016 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
“It didn’t pan out at the start overly well, but James rode her confidently and once she sort of tacked on and was travelling that was always a good sign,” McDonald said.
“She is a real talent by this great sire Exceed And Excel.
“There is a lot of quality about her as well and she has been a beautiful filly from day one.
“Hopefully she has a good spell now, comes back in the autumn, improves a little and that will have her in the mix for the majors in the autumn.
“She has done a great job and hopefully she will improve a bit next year.”
Paul Perry-trained Jeanneau also hit the line strongly to finish second in the Gimcrack Stakes, while Gai Waterhouse filly Slumber Party found the line well to finish third.