French Fern causes upset win in Reisling Stakes

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The David Payne trained French Fern caused a huge boil over with an upset win in the Group 2 $300,000 Reisling Stakes (1200m) at Randwick today.

French Fern scores an upset win in the Reisling Stakes at Randwick. Photo by Steve Hart.

French Fern scores an upset win in the Reisling Stakes at Randwick. Photo by Steve Hart.

The betting for the race was thrown into turmoil when top fancy Calliope was scratched at the barriers after getting her leg caught over one of the petitions, leaving Honesty Prevails as the dominant $2.40 favourite.

But the Rick Worthington trained Honesty Prevails failed to reproduce her first up Widden Stakes winning performance and after being slow out of the gates, pushed up along the fence in the  straight before finishing fourth.

In contrast winning jockey Blake Shinn had the $31 chance French Fern travelling sweetly in third spot, although three wide, and with a clear run to the line proved too strong to record a three quarters of a lengths win over Quick Feet ($18) with Moqueen ($26) a further head away in third spot.

French Fern’s win today was her second after she won a 1200m two year old Handicap at Canterbury on January 9 but winning trainer David Payne was reluctant to confirm a start in the Group 1 $3.5m Longines Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill in a fortnight.

“We might not go there, we will see, and see how it all stacks up” Payne said.

“We have a couple of weeks. You don’t want to ruin them early, she is a valuable filly and we will just let the dust settle and we will decide.”

“She was three wide and she is going to improve with the run. She has a lot of potential.”

“She is accepted, but we will decide, we will see.”

Shinn was impressed with the win of French Fern and can see her producing her best form as the distances get longer over 1400m and 1600m.

“I think she has to improve a bit to win a Golden Slipper but she gives me the impression that she might be better suited 1400m to a mile.”

“She did a great job, wide the whole way, always travelled well, but kicked strongly.”

If the connections of French Fern decide to run in the Golden Slipper, they will have two runners in the world’s richest two year old after they paid $150,000 late entry fee to have Blue Diamond Stakes runner up Flying Artie included in the field.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.


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