The Chris Waller trained Funstar had no problem ploughing through the mud at Rosehill today to lead all of the way to win the Group 2 $200,000 Chandon Phar Lap Stakes (1500m) for the three year olds.
Jockey James McDonald recorded his third win from the first five races and has no hesitation in letting Funstar slide to the front at the 1300m on the heavy track.
McDonald set a moderate tempo on the $1.55 favourite Funstar who is most likely to head to the Group 1 $500,000 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill in a fortnight after posting a one and a quarter lengths win over the Kiwi filly Probabeel.
The Jamie Richards trained Probabeel beat Funstar home last start when they ran the quinella in the Group 1 $500,000 Heineken 3 Surround Stakes (1400m) at Randwick a fortnight ago but the Waller trained filly handled the wet conditions better today.
Another Kiwi filly, Quick Thinker ($15), was doing her best work at the finish to claim third prize.
The two fillies are set to clash again in the Vinery Stud Stakes with Funstar heading up the betting at Ladbrokes.com.au at $2.70 just ahead of Probabeel at $3.60.
Waller has now won five of the last six runnings of the Phar Lap Stakes with Winx kicking off his great run in 2015, followed by Foxplay (2017), Unforgotten (2018) and Verry Elleegant (2019).
“She’s (Funstar) the only G1 winner I’ve had go into the race. She’s done a good job,” Waller said.
“First up run was fantastic and she’s improved off that. It was a good test, Kerrin was within striking distance with 200m to go and we had to put the foot down and it was good to see her respond over the final 100m. James held her together for as long as we could to meet the challenge and it was good to see her finish off so well.”
It’s a good race, a stepping stone. She’s by Adelaide a middle distance horse so that doesn’t worry me. She doesn’t need to be running in a Doncaster as a 3yo? What happens if she draws 20 against older seasoned horses. Yes she has a light weight 49kg but so will some 4yos as well. Pretty confident we’ll go toward the Vinery but we’ll make that decision to let everybody know later in the week.”
“As 3yo fillies you can be confident they can run beyond their actual distance. She’s a very good horse I know that.”