Promising filly Take Pride upstaged the well-backed Secret Agenda to take out the 2015 Champagne Stakes at Moonee Valley last night.
Take Pride pushed through on the rail to take up the running in the early stages of the Champagne Stakes, while Secret Agenda took up the trail just in behind the leader.
Secret Agenda had every chance to finish over the top of Take Pride, but the Reward For Effort filly ran away from her rival in the straight to record the biggest win of her racing career to date.
Take Pride’s Champagne Stakes victory was the biggest win of trainer Murray Johnson’s career and he said that he was delighted to have achieved a career highlight at a venue that means a great deal to him.
“It’s very, very special,” Johnson told the media after the race.
“This is particularly special being at Moonee Valley – my mother was raised on the corner of the property and my grandfather ran the place.
“As a five-year-old I used to walk down the stretch putting in the divots.
“She’s very fast, she’s shown it before and third start back she’s on top of her game.
“We’ll just enjoy it – there are lots of options, lots of spots for her.”
Jockey Patrick Moloney was having his second ride on Take Pride after he steered her to a fifth place finish behind Petits Filous in the Group 3 Quezette Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on August 15 timed his ride on the talented filly to perfection.
The win was Moloney’s second at Group level after he took out the Group 2 Alister Clark Stakes (2040m) with Chill Party earlier in the year and he is confident that the three-year-old has plenty more big wins ahead of her.
“That’s my second (Group race) and second at the Valley,” Moloney said.
“It’s a really big thrill, I love this track.
“She was too slick and too smart for them.
“Exciting times ahead.”
Take Pride had not recorded a race win since she took out the New Year Plate (1000m) at Flemington on New Year’s Day, but she put the writing on the wall with a third place finish behind Petits Filous in the Listed Cap D’Antibes Stakes (1100m) at Flemington on September 12.
She was included in the acceptances for the 2015 Thousand Guineas that were released earlier in the week, but she is unlikely to contest the Group 1 event.