The well supported Savatiano rewarded her backers with a commanding all the way win in the inaugural running of the $1m The Hunter (1300m) at Newcastle last Saturday.
The James Cummings trained Savatiano was sent out as the $4.60 favourite and a cool front running ride from James McDonald saw the mare career away in the straight to record a one and a half lengths win.
The locally trained Kris Lees sprinter Tactical Advantage ($7) ran on from the back to claim the runner’s up prize while Bon Amis ($19) was a solid third just in front of Fiesta ($15) from the Chris Waller stable.
McDonald let Savatiano slide to front at the 1000m mark after jumping from barrier fourteen in the fifteen horse The Hunter field and the in-form hoop controlled the race nicely from that point.
“She is a very good mare, her record speaks for itself,” McDonald said.
“She hardly ever throws in a bad one and that was her perfect trip.
“She got across easy enough and travelled beautifully and sprinted.”
Godolphin’s assistant trainer Darren Beadman was full of praise for Savatiano who was able to make it two wins from four starts this preparation after claiming the Group 2 $300,000 Schweppes Tristarc Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Caulfield Cup Day.
“She’s been in Melbourne where she won a very nice G2 race and she came back to us in perfect order,” Beadman said.
“Not a lot of horses can sustain that sort of gallop, but she’s something special.”
Cummings’ other runner in The Hunter, Manicure ($9), finished in sixth position while runner up Tactical Advantage was the best result from the Kris Lees stable which also saddled up $4.80 second favourite Graff (12th), $26 chance Invincible Gem (14th) and Le Romain ($12) who suffered a bleeding attack and tailed off to finish last.