Perennial bridesmaid Royal Descent finally returned to winning form with a strong victory in the 2015 Warwick Stakes at Royal Randwick this afternoon.
Royal Descent had not recorded a race win since she scored a dominant ten lengths win in the 2013 Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m), but she has been a consistent performer at the highest level of racing and was placed in both the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) and Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) during the 2015 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
Jockey Hugh Bowman settled Royal Descent in a lovely position in the early stages of the Warwick Stakes and she responded well when asked for an extra effort to finish over the top of a game Pornichet to take out the 2015 Warwick Stakes.
Trainer Chris Waller has always had a very soft spot for Royal Descent and he was clearly delighted that the Redoute’s Choice mare could shed the non-winners tag with her Warwick Stakes victory.
“She is the last horse that I would call a non-winner,” Waller said.
“That is what her form suggests, but you wouldn’t get a horse that tries harder than her and she has just been gallant in so many big races, almost breaking weight-carrying records in Epsoms and things like that.
“She is a superstar.
“It is the best she has come back in terms of the way she looks and she has trialed well.
“She is just a class act and she is in for a good prep.”
Bowman took the ride on Royal Descent for the first time since she finished second behind He’s Your Man in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick in October last year and the leading hoop gave her the perfect run in transit.
Royal Descent has generally produced her best form on softish ground the Bowman admitted that he was concerned about how she would handle the firmish Royal Randwick surface, but he could not have been more impressed with the way she let down in the final stages of the race.
“You only have to look through her record,” Bowman said.
“I know that there is a lot of placings there, but they are all at the top level and her consistency probably hurts her in those big handicaps because she is rated up to her best and she has been narrowly defeated a couple of times.
“To get a win against this calibre of horse is no surprise and I am just so pleased for Chris and the stable, but more than anyone Gerry Harvey.
“Chris had the mare in tiptop order there today although I do think that she will improve for the run.”
A number of talented horses produced strong first-up efforts to start their 2015 Spring Racing Carnival campaigns, but unfortunately Burbero broke down coming around the turn and took out Godolphin-owned Complacent.