Promising filly Samantha will head towards the 2017 PJ Bell Stakes at Royal Randwick during The Championships after she recorded an impressive win in the Fireball Stakes at Rosehill Gardens this afternoon.
Corey Brown elected to settle Samantha in the middle of the Fireball Stakes field in the early stages of the race and there were plenty of winning chances as the field spread right across the track in the straight.
Super Maxi looked as though he was going to steal the race on the outside rail, but Samantha absolutely motored home in the final 100 metres to score a fighting win from Glenall and Super Maxi.
Trainer Gerald Ryan revealed after the race that he has always had a big opinion of Samantha and he confirmed that the Group 3 PJ Bell Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on April 1 was the major Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival target for the daughter of Snitzel.
“She’s a pretty talented little filly,” Ryan said.
“When she first came to me about twelve months ago she was a late two-year-old and she was only a little thing and I thought that this could be the best Snitzel filly I’ve had since Snitzerland.
“She almost got to a race and she started to feel the pinch and fall away a bit, so we only gave her one run at Hawkesbury and turned her out.
“She came back a much stronger filly.
“We’ll just poke along.
“It was only last weekend that I was sitting there talking about where we were going to run her.
“With the wet track last week we thought, ‘well she plows through the mud,’ so we’ll throw her in and see what it looks like.
“The whole aim has been the PJ Bell, so we’ll just hit that and see where we go from here.
“She’s in the Arrowfield and all of that, but I don’t think she’s up to that class.
She’s a little stakes winner now.”
Scarlet Rain started the Fireball Stakes as a drifting favourite and she took up the running, but she was one of the first horses beaten and was pulled up by Adam Hyeronimus before the line.