Mannerism Stakes winner Star Of Giselle will stick to fillies and mares races for the rest of the Melbourne Autumn Carnival after scoring a narrow win first up at Caulfield today.
The training partnership of Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra did a good job to prepare Star Of Giselle first up to take out the Group 3 $150,000 TBV Mannerism Stakes (1400m) and wrap up a winning double for the stable after Secret Liaison scored early in the day.
Star Of Giselle was having her first start since finishing eighth in the Group 3 $150,000 Snowhite Maintenance Eclipse Stakes (1800m) at Sportingbet Sandown Park on November 17 but her Spring form included a Group 3 victory in the $150,000 Trojan Hand Tools Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on November 27.
Winning rider Kerrin McEvoy, coming straight off his Group 1 Oakleigh Plate win on Mrs Onassis, had Star Of Giselle ($4.60 favourite) up on the speed and after sitting outside the leader Family Crest ($14) , battled hard all the way down the straight to nose out Family Crest and the fast finishing Hi Belle.
Ellerton thought that Star Of Giselle might be a bit underdone going into today’s race and told McEvoy to leave something in reserve for the run to the line.
“This mare was a bit rusty today and I said to Kerrin to give her as sweet a first half mile as you can and hopefully she’s got that kick there, you know to clean her out for a good race down the track,” Ellerton said.
“I thought she was just going to plug away into third there for a minute, but to her credit she dug deep and fantastic she got her head in front.”
Ellerton has picked out the Group 3 $150,000 Schweppervescence Trophy (1600m) for fillies and mares at Flemington on March 9 and the Group 2 $220,000 Sportingbet Sunline Stakes (1600m) at weight for age for the mares at Moonee Valley on March 22.