Kiwi mare Quintessential had to survive a protest before winning another Eagle Farm feature race in the Group 2 $250,000 Al Basti Equiworld Eagle Farm Cup (2200m) today.
Quintessential showed her liking for the Eagle Farm track and made it three wins and a second from five starts and the slow conditions put the icing on the cake.
The John Sargent trained mare scored the biggest victory of her career winning last year’s Group 1 $400,000 Treasury Casino Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Eagle Farm on a heavy track then backed up the following week to be runner up in the Group 1 $500,000 Channel Seven Queensland Derby (2400m).
Today on a slow 7, jockey Damian Browne was able to ride positively in the small six horse field and gave Quintessential a lovely run behind the Peter Moody trained import Voila Ici who set a genuine tempo.
After getting the better of Voila Ici in the straight, Quintessential fought hard to hold off the strong finish of Manighar and then had to withstand a protest from Brad Rawiller on Manighar for interference on the turn out of the straight the first time and in the home straight around about the 250m mark.
Sargent will now push onto the Group 2 $300,000 Croser Brisbane Cup (2400m) at Eagle Farm next week with Quintessential and the forecast showers will play into her favour.
“She grows a leg here, I think she’s only been beaten once here, that was when we went back getting ready for the Oaks,” Sargent said.
“She loves the course and loves the temperature and the climate.”
“It was like a good staying test today, the others were behind us and that’s what we wanted.”
“She’s a great little fighter and she slips through that ground very well.”
Even though Quintessential has excellent wet track form, Sargent says she is just as good on top of the ground.
“It just takes the others out of the equation, but she’s won on the rock hard, she won the Desert Gold in New Zealand, a Group race on a rock hard track. So it doesn’t worry her but it does knock some of the others out of it.”
Sargent will give the mare an easy week in preparation for next Saturday’s Brisbane Cup.
Browne praised the way Quintessential stepped up to weight for age class and the way she fought hard to hold out Manighar.
“She probably had to step up to weight for age with genuine weight for age horses in the race. She just tries her heart out, she’s all guts,” Browne said.