Gerald Ryan-trained Peggy Jean upset well-backed favourite Boomwaa and New Zealand-trained juvenile Vinnie Eagle to win the $250,000 Inglis Classic (1200m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Peggy Jean was settled towards the middle of the field by jockey Kerrin McEvoy and responded well when asked for an extra effort to finish over the top of Boomwaa and Unequivocal in the final stages of the race.
Ryan admitted that he thought Peggy Jean would struggle to beat Boomwaa and said that he was thrilled with the performance of the Myboycharlie filly, who was having just her second race start after making her debut with a second place finish in the 2014 ATC Membership On Sale Maiden (1000m) at Randwick on January 8.
”I thought my filly would go well and he was the main danger (Boomwaa) but coming to the turn when he had gone so hard I was confident, more confident than this morning,” Ryan said after the race.
”She had had one trial and I didn’t want to miss out on a run in this race, so we went to the races instead of another trial
”She charged home and ran second and that experience definitely helped her.
“She has been the perfect filly since she came into work and has done everything right.
”The only thing we had to do was teach her how to eat and once she started to do that we knew we had a racehorse on our hands.”
2013 Maribyrnong Plate winner Boomwaa started the race as a clear favourite, but was clearly worked up in the mounting yard before the race and jockey Hugh Bowman said he struggled to restrain the Mutawaajid gelding in the early stages of the race.
”He grabbed the bit and got going fiercely, but it was a great effort,” Bowman said.
“He didn’t give in so the winner did a good job to get us.”
Vinnie Eagle went into the Inglis Classic on the second line of betting, following two wins from two starts in New Zealand, but failed to fire and finished a distant tenth.
Peggy Jean will now spend a stint in the spelling paddock before returning to the races for a tilt at the Listed Fernhill Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick on April 19 during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, while Boomwaa is still a chance to make his Group 1 debut in the Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 22.