The heavily backed Noire stormed in calculations for the Epsom Handicap with a last to first win in the Group 2 $200,000 Schweppes Shannon Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill today.
The Chris Waller trained Noire has halved her price for the Group 1 $1m Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick on September 29 and is now marked at $34 with Ladbrokes.com.au.
Winning jockey Tommy Berry was happy to settle Noire ($3.40 favourite) at the tail of the seven horse field and made his move approaching the home turn.
Berry had Noire in clear space when heads were turned for home and the Foxwedge mare stretched out nicely over the concluding stages to produce a terrific Epsom Handicap trial.
The Team Hawkes trained Kingsguard ($13) was also running on at the finish for second while the winner’s stablemate Youngstar ($3.20 – $3.60) had no luck in the straight but found third spot.
Kerrin McEvoy had settled Youngstar near the tail of the field and rode for luck in the straight but the market drifter had nowhere to go for most of the straight and only found daylight over the final fifty metres while her stablemate Noire was swooping down the middle of the with an uninterrupted path.
The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained Arbeitsam ($4.80) set the pace and battled on in the straight to finish fourth.
Waller has happy that Noire could breakthrough for another win after being narrowly beaten at her previous starts by her stablemate Invincibella in the Group 2 $200,000 Irresistible Pools Sheraco Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on September 8.
“It was a good run last start. She got bobbed out in a photo finish by one of Denise’s other horses (Invincibella) so fortunately these owners got the spoils today,” Waller said.
“It was a good, tough win. She’s come from last, she came around the outside and finished off as you like to see.”
“She is a five-year-old so she is certainly a latecomer. She has always showed us enough ability and hasn’t been overraced. She is thriving.”
Waller also had plenty of positives for the unlucky Youngstar who will head to Melbourne and run in the Group 1 $500,000 Seppelt Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 6 on her way to the Group 1 $5m Stella Artois Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 20.
“I thought she was brilliant. I thought it was the run of a winner. She is obviously looking for further,” Waller said.
“Down the inside, I think it is hard to get mobile. With clear running I think she goes close to winning the race.”
“She’ll have one more run, probably in the Turnbull against Winx and then to the Caulfield Cup.”