Godolphin runner Pearls has held on to post a gutsy first-up win in the Group 3 Toy Show Quality (1300m) at Royal Randwick this afternoon.
Pearls continued to firm in the minutes leading up to jump this afternoon and jockey Brenton Avdulla was able to use the ideal barrier 2 to his advantage when the mare experienced a good start and took a handy position on the heels of early leaders Knit ‘N’ Purl and Pioneering.
Pulling clear of her rivals upon arriving at the final straight the Exceed And Excel mare immediately responded when asked for an extra effort and at one stage held a lead of more than a length, but eventually held on to claim the victory by only one head to a fast-finishing Dixie Blossoms.
Trainer John O’Shea was pleased with Pearls performance for success in the Toy Show Quality and underlined the Group 2 Golden Pendant (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 24th as her major campaign target.
“It was a wonderful ride,” O’Shea said.
“It was a bit of a query getting to the right spot from the soft draw but when he was able to hold one off, he got a beautiful position and tracked into the race nicely.
“I think seven furlongs is about as far as she wants. There’s a nice race a week before the Epsom, a 1400m race for mares. I’ll just give her one more run before that.”
Avdulla took a couple of rides for Godolphin at Randwick this afternoon, and was pleased he was able to post a black type win for the stable aboard Pearls in the Toy Show Quality.
“Barrier 2 and riding for one of the world’s powerhouses makes it easy,” Avdulla said.
“Full credit goes to John and the team at home; they’ve got her great order.
“I trialled her first trial back and thought she was in for a good prep, but like I said she jumped and travelled.
“I had a peak over my shoulder about the half-mile to see where Timmy (Clark, Dixie Blossoms) was because I thought he was my main danger and he was right there stalking me.
“I just had to be smart with my movements and when I wanted to push the trigger, and I just had to try and time it but when I got up the rise, my filly was too good.”
Pearls is now a two-time stakes winner, having saluted in the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1400m) at Randwick last spring.