It was far from smooth sailing, but Foxplay made it two wins on the trot with a gallant victory in the 2016 Tea Rose Stakes at Royal Randwick this afternoon.
Foxplay received a lovely run into the race from barrier four, but she was left slightly flat-footed when the sprint went on and she was put into a pocket by stablemate Sezanne at the 350 metre mark.
The daughter of Foxwedge was in plenty of trouble as Hugh Bowman desperately searched for clear running, but she eventually received a gap and picked up her rivals in the final stages of the race to record a second straight win at stakes level.
Bowman admitted after the race that not everything went to plan for Foxplay in the Tea Rose Stakes, but he was still very impressive with her performance and believes that she is the perfect filly for a race like the Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 8.
“She was left flat-footed,” Bowman said.
“I thought that the pace was moderate and I was inclined to think about getting going a bit earlier than I did, but I thought I was on the best filly and I didn’t think it was necessary.
“When the sprint went on I was left flat-footed and it nearly cost me, but I was able to make my way into clear running and she was very powerful in the last 100 metres as she was in the Furious two weeks ago.
“She just has the best attitude, but I will be honest she snuck under my radar.
“I won on her in the winter, but I didn’t think she was at this level then and she just gets out of the barriers and settles beautifully in the run.
“I think that she will be better at 1600 metres and she has a bright future.”
Skylight Glow returned to the races in the Ming Dynasty Quality (1400m) at Royal Randwick on September 3 and he improved on that effort to finish a close second, while Quick Feet also produced an improved performance to finish third.
Global Glamour over raced in the early stages of the race and looked like the winner when Foxplay was blocked for a run before she tired late to finish fourth.
The Tea Rose Stakes win of Foxplay was Bowman’s third win of the afternoon and he still has the ride on Winx in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) to come.