English will return to Group 1 level in the 2017 The Galaxy after she scored a narrow victory in the Challenge Stakes at Royal Randwick this afternoon.
English was outpaced in the early stages of the Challenge Stakes, but she responded quickly when asked for an extra effort from Blake Shinn and she took up the running 300 metres from home.
She was always going to be vulnerable to horses in the best part of the track on the outside rail and Redzel stormed home late, but English was able to hold him off to win the Challenge Stakes for the second year in a row.
Co-trainer Adrian Bott believes that English continues to grow as a horse and he confirmed that she will have her next race start in the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) in a fortnight before she heads to the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on April 1 and the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) at the same venue a fortnight later.
“She is a different mare this preparation and it is great to see her do that today,” Bott said.
“It was a good, tough effort.
“We were a little bit concerned with the ground going into it and it was a bit of an unknown, but to her credit she was out on her feet at the end and just showed what a tough filly she is.
“She will go to The Galaxy.”
Shinn said after the race that English was under pressure a long way from home in the Challenge Stakes and it was her toughness as well as her class that got her the victory in the final stages of the race.
“She did have to fight hard,” Shinn said.
“The 1000 metre speed was just a bit fast for her and she was out of her comfort zone the whole way.
“I had to ask her to extend probably from the 500 and she was going to win comfortably at the 300, but she was always going to be vulnerable and Redzel is a hard horse to get past.
“It was a great effort and she was very well-prepared by Gai and Adrian.”
The resuming Redzel was far from disgraced in second and Supido made his Sydney racing debut with a second place finish.