Godolphin have posted an impressive quinella in the Group 3 Percy Sykes Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick this afternoon as Ottoman hit the line a bob of the head ahead of Calaverite.
umping from the gates only fairly, jockey Sam Clipperton was forced to settle the Exceed And Excel filly off the pace of early leaders Serenade, Calaverite and Sempre Libera who set a reasonable tempo towards the bend.
Finding the final straight blocked for a run and with plenty to do, Clipperton pressed the two-year-old along the rails and locked in a fierce sprint battle with Calaverite and Team Hawkes sprinter Lake Geneva; timing her head bob well in a photo finish.
Clipperton delivered a perfectly-timed ride on Ottoman for success in the 2015 Percy Sykes Stakes and was thrilled to repay John O’Shea for offering him the ride on Day 2 of The Championships.
“It was a nice thrill. Godolphin have been a huge supporter of mine for the last six to eight months, they’ve given me a lot of big opportunities and it’s great to repay them with this win,” Clipperton said.
“She’s actually always a little bit tardy away which is a little bit frustrating because there’s no reason for it.
“Luckily today we drew a good gate; I was able to rail up into a nice position and got a nice dream run through inside the leaders.
“She had a few fighters on her hands the last 100 but she really pinned her ears, had a go and won well.”
John O’Shea was impressed by the efforts of both Ottoman and Calaverite in the 2015 Percy Sykes Stakes and confirmed both fillies will now return to the paddock ahead of a Spring Carnival return.
“He’s a credit to himself, deserves all the opportunity he gets and fits into our team beautifully,” O’Shea said of Clipperton.
“Exceed And Excel has had a wonderful year with his two-year-olds, this filly has been a talent all along so it’s really nice for her to pick up a win.
“They’ll be straight back into the paddock tomorrow.”
While unfortunate to lose the prospect of Queen Elizabeth Stakes success via the scratched Contributer this afternoon, Godolphin is offered a great chance of a win at the highest level on Day 2 of The Championships via Hartnell in the Group 1 Sydney Cup at 3:55pm.