Missrock has mustered a superior turn of foot in the final straight at The Valley to beat race favourite Heatherly in the Listed Carlyon Stakes (1000m) this afternoon.
Heatherly was fructuous in the gates after loading and stalled the beginning of the feature race as she was vetted, but was cleared to run and shot to the lead on the rails.
Jockey Ben Melham took a position in the second half of the Carlyon Stakes field with Missrock and was able to get the mare to switch off as Heatherly opened a gap of more than a length to closest rival Orujo across the back straight.
Working the mare to a forward position as the field straight, the Fastnet Rock mare immediately responded when asked for an extra effort and easily put Heatherly away with 100m to travel; saving the line to complete another outstanding first-up run.
Melham was pleased with the feel offered up by Missrock in this afternoon’s Carlyon Stakes and believes that she will only improve off the run.
“It was a good result,” Melham said after crossing the line.
“Heatherly just sort of began awkwardly and ended up getting to the front, but she took her time getting there.
“My mare began well and I was happy to take up her back after leaving the barriers.
“She (Heatherly) actually kicked away from me at the turn and I thought she was going to keep running, but to this filly’s credit, she dug really deep and was just too good to the line.”
Trainer Robbie Laing was quietly confident that Missrock would run a big race this afternoon and revealed that she will be set for a run in the Group 1 Moir Stakes over track and distance in September.
“She’s only been in out of the paddock for six-and-a-half weeks and down on the peninsula it’s been so wet,” Laing said.
“The only grass galloper she’s had in recent weeks was here on Tuesday morning. She worked nice without working super I thought.
“Just going through the field, the barometer for me was just seeing which of these horses could run second in a Goodwood Handicap and there wasn’t many of them.
“As long as she had a good run, I thought with Heatherly we’d be giving her a start on the corner, but this mare has a bit of guts about her – she’s run third in a Wakeful and fifth in an Oaks, so she’s really versatile.
“She’s got a ton of ability. She’ll strip a lot fitter here and will be back for the Moir.”
She Will Reign is the early $4 favourite in Moir Stakes betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au.