Joe Pride-trained Destiny’s Kiss produced an impressive staying performance to record his first race win for over 18 months in the 2016 Gosford Cup yesterday.
Destiny’s Kiss had not recorded a race win since he took out the Stayers Cup (3200m) at Royal Randwick in June of last year, but he was well-backed in the lead-up to the Gosford Cup following his fast-finishing third in the December Handicap (1600m) at the same venue on Boxing Day.
Jockey Jason Collett opted to settle Destiny’s Kiss towards the tail of the field in the early stages of the race, while the Gai Waterhouse-trained duo of Kontiki Dane and Pheidon took up the running.
Collett bided his time on Destiny’s Kiss, but he got busy coming around the turn and the son of Power Of Destiny responded quickly and followed Award Season into the race.
Award Season hit the front at the 400 metre mark, but Destiny’s Kiss finished over the top of his rival and claim his first win at Listed level since he took out the Winter Cup in 2013.
Trainer Joe Pride was confident that Destiny’s Kiss would be able to get the job done in the Gosford Cup and he was thrilled to see the seven-year-old racing at close to his best form.
“Destiny’s Kiss was nicely in at the weights today,” Pride told the media after the race.
“He had his ‘game face’ on.
“I told Jason (Collett) to be patient as the horse has the best turn of foot in the race and he was the best stayer.”
The Gosford Cup victory of Destiny’s Kiss completed a big day for a big trainer for Pride, who previously took out the Group 3 Belle Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) with Ammirata.
Ammirata, who was making her maiden appearance at Group level, was caught wide coming around the final straight and looked as though she had done enough when Holy Delusions hit the front at the 150 metre mark, but she knuckled down impressively in the final stages of the race to record a thrilling win.
Pride admitted that he thought that Ammirata may have run her race after being caught wide, but he was happy with the way that she savaged the line and believes that she still has plenty of improvement left in her.
“She looked to be in trouble there on the corner,” Pride said.
“This Group 3 win is very important to her career.
“This was only her 11th start so she is a mare with a lot of upside.”
The Takeover Target Stakes was taken out by veteran sprinter Howmuchdoyouloveme, who upstaged a quality field to record his first victory at black-type level since he took out the Healy Stakes at Eagle Farm in 2013.