Slightly Sweet capped off an outstanding training performance from Jason Coyle to record an impressive victory in the 2015 JHB Carr Stakes at Royal Randwick this afternoon.
Slightly Sweet finished a credible seventh behind Fenway in the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 28, but Coyle elected to drop the filly back to 1400 metres for the Carr Stakes.
Jockey Kathy O’Hara elected to settle Slightly Sweet towards the tail of the field in the early stages of the Carr Stakes, while the likes of Matilija, Nayeli and Supara made sure the race was run at a strong early tempo.
O’Hara patiently bided her time on Slightly Sweet and the Charge Forward filly responded extremely well when she was asked for an extra effort to finish over the top of her rivals and record a second win at Group 3 level this preparation.
The Group 1 winning jockey has formed a strong association with Slightly Sweet since steering her to victory in the Group 3 Keith Nolan Classic (1600m) at Kembla Grange on March 13, but O’Hara was quick to pay credit to the outstanding trainer performance of Coyle.
“The owners have been fantastic to me and this is my second Group three with this filly,” O’Hara said.
“Full credit to Jason for being able to freshen up this filly coming back from the 2000 metres in a Group 1 last start and it is a massive effort.
“It is a big drop back in grade for her, but she was coming back a long way in distance too and it is not easy to do especially in the fifth run of their preparation.
“She is a beautiful filly and she is going to furnish into a lovely mare.”
Slightly Sweet was far from disgraced when seventh in the Vinery Stud Stakes, but Coyle believes that the three-year-old was not seasoned enough to run out the trip strongly and he decided that she would be better suited in a race like the Carr Stakes rather than the staying test of the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m).
“Full credit to the horse,” Coyle said.
“We pushed her right out to 1200 and she did a really good job there, but her niche has sort of been at the seven and eight furlongs and she showed that today.
“She showed a really good turn-of-foot to sprint through the gap, sop full credit to the horse.
“It was a tough ten furlong for her, but she pulled up well and we did a lot of swimming and a lot of easy work, which obviously got the sprint back to her legs.
“I don’t think she was seasoned for the 2000 metres at this age and there is no reason why next preparation she can’t step-out and try it again.”
Pre-race favourite Peeping looked like the winner at the 200 metre mark, but she died on her run late and missed the placings, while Anyaas finished strongly on the inside of the track to finish second.