Outsider Pearls has delivered Godolphin a black type win on George Main Stakes Day at Randwick this afternoon; mustering a scintillating sprint on the heavy track to take out the Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m).
Pearls was given only little hope of success in jumping at $15 odds to win the Tea Rose Stakes; punters instead favouring stable mate Ottoman amongst several other of the field’s classy three-year-old fillies.
Jumping from the gates well, in-form hoop Sam Clipperton elected to settle the Pearls well within the field of ten, allowing early leaders Ottoman, Lake Geneva and Perignon to set a fair tempo over the back straight and around the turn.
Finding the final straight wide and off the pace, the Exceed And Excel filly appeared to be out of contention but immediately responded when asked for an extra effort by Clipperton; producing an impressive turn of foot to stamp her claims as a serious Group 1 fillies prospect this time.
Clipperton has already experienced plenty of success aboard Godolphin runners this season and was thrilled to deliver trainer John O’Shea and the team another black type success in the Tea Rose Stakes.
“These royal blue silks have been very good to me, so very grateful,” Clipperton said.
“John O’Shea and the team have a lot of faith in her ability and she’s very well bred. As you can see, she’s the ultimate professional.
“Early on she was a little bit revvy and wanted to do a few things wrong … but she’s really come of age, is a lovely, mature type and she’s a very, very good filly.
“We had a lovely run, they rolled along at a nice tempo and I actually pressed the button a little too early and I was left in front a long way out but to my filly’s credit she did her job well and went on for a good win.”
O’Shea was pleased with Pearls performance for success in the Tea Rose Stakes and revealed he had a sneaking suspicion she would run a good race in what was her black type debut.
“We had hoped she’d run up to that today,” O’Shea said.
“I wasn’t deterred by the ground because she’s a quality filly who has had a good preparation.
“She’s very excitable as a young filly and physically not there so we just had to be a little kinder and more patient with her.”
O’Shea has underlined the Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) in a fortnight as the target for Pearls, but will allow her condition out of her run this afternoon to dictate a berth.
“We’ll get home, but it’s a natural progression,” he added.
“We sort of felt she might run a strong mile and she’s yet to do it, but if she was to come through this well it would be a natural race for her.”
Queensland filly Honesta produced a career-best effort to date to finish second in the Tea Rose Stakes, while Kimberley Star boxed on for third.