Bart and James Cummings have posted an early victory on Golden Slipper Day at Rosehill Gardens this afternoon; saddling talented mare Shamalia to success in the Group 3 Birthday Card Stakes (1200m).
Jumping from the gates well, jockey Hugh Bowman settled Shamalia off the pace of the race’s early leaders Mossfun, Ygritte and Tahni Dancer who set a noticeably slow tempo away from the barriers and approaching the bend.
Rounding the final straight wide and with plenty to do, the daughter of Shamardal quickly spooled-up and charged forward; locking in a fierce sprint battle with Mossfun over the final 200m and poking clear to secure an impressive first-up victory; Ygritte boxing on for third.
Bowman delivered a perfectly-timed ride on Shamalia in the 2015 Birthday Card Stakes, revealing he was confident of success when meeting misfiring favourite Mossfun at the fore of the field in the final straight.
“It’s a big day’s racing here today and it’s lovely to be on the board,” Bowman said.
“She’s (Mossfun) the class horse of the field but she’s not racing to the level that we know she can I was well aware of that.
“But I didn’t go out there to worry about that, I went out there to guide my girl first-up.”
Co-trainer James Cummings was understandably pleased with Shamalia’s first-up victory in the 2015 Birthday Card Stakes and revealed the Group 2 Sapphire Stakes (1200m) on Day 2 of The Championships is shaping as her next point of call this season.
“She’s a special mare for us – she’s built up a really good record and we really love this horse,” Cummings said after the race.
“It’s taken a long time for her to come right, and hopefully this is her prep.
“She can go two weeks into a Championships race at Randwick and make her presence felt.
“It’s a fillies and mares Group race, it’s a bit better than this but I’d like to think that first-up the way she went there … this filly meant business first-up from the spell.”
Bart and James Cummings have the chance to secure further black type success this afternoon when Hallowed Crown steps-up to 2000m for the first time in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas.