Raiment will head towards the 2017 PJ Bell Stakes during The Championships after she recorded an impressive victory in the Birthday Card Stakes at Rosehill Gardens this afternoon.
Jockey Craig Williams elected to settle Raiment right on the speed in the early stages of the PJ Bell Stakes and the daughter of Street Cry always travelled like the winner.
Williams asked her for an extra effort at the top of the Rosehill Gardens straight and she quickly raced away from her rivals to score the most impressive win of her racing career to date.
Godolphin Head Trainer John O’Shea said that he was always confident that Raiment would race well in the Birthday Card Stakes and he confirmed that she will the Group 3 PJ Bell Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on April 1.
“She had form around Foxplay and a mare that she was racing, In Her Time, has came out and won a couple of Group races after we spelled her,” O’Shea said.
“That was encouraging and we thought that she would be well-placed in this race going into the PJ Bell and the JB Carr later on in the season.
“She will be nice and competitive.”
Godolphin have a strong hand in a number of races at Rosehill Gardens on Golden Slipper Day and Hartnell is set to start the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) as favourite.
O’Shea said that he is unsure whether the wet track is an advantage for Hartnell, but he is hopeful that the imported galloper can return to his best form following his flop in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m).
“Hartnell has to go around and he has to get back in the game,” O’Shea said.
“I am sure that he can and he has been competitive on heavy tracks previously, but he just had a few things go wrong the other day.
“I think that he can bounce back and be competitive.
“He may not turn around the nine lengths today, but he will get himself back in the game and hopefully in three weeks time he will have his foot on the till.”
Samantha chased home Raiment in second, while Nancy rounded out the placings in third.