Godolphin pulled off the same plan two weeks in succession when Esperance won the $100,000, Trapeze Artist @ Widden Bm 88 Handicap (1200m) at Rosehill on Saturday with the five-year-old coming up from Caulfield where he finished third to Coruscate on May 9th with the latter winning at Randwick last week.
Esperance, with 58kg under Hugh Bowman, spoiled the Fituese run of two wins in succession with the heavy track conditions seeming to blunt the filly’s sprint, but the older more experienced runner deserved his win.
Bowman settled back with Esperance (58kg) and then followed Fituese (56kg) and Rachel King after the 400m as the filly ground out a lead. The win was briefly there for the $1.75 favourite, but then Bowman steered Esperance alongside and with 10m to run they were past for the win.
The margin was a comfortable 1/2L at the line with Cuban Royale (Casino Prince) (52kg) and Andrew Atkins third, the margin 3/4L.
The time was 1.11.05 on the Heavy 8 track with the final 600m in 35.18. Esperance paid $6.00 on fixed odds and $5.90 on the tote.
“This horse certainly showed his authority and I followed the right horse into it. Fituese has being racing really well and even at the top of the straight I was not confident, but when she did not let down as well as she has been then I felt really confident,” said Bowman.
“The horse really dug when he needed to and he won with authority. The pace was set up for my horse, it was not frantic early, but from the 800m the pressure I felt was right on and that let my horse get into a good rhythm. Rachel did all the carting into the race and I was there to capitalise on that late,” he said.
Esperance, a gelding by Bernardini out of the Commands mare Sycophant, is lightly raced and with 18 starts he has fashioned a tidy path of five wins and seven placings with stakes of $286,230.
Esperance and Hugh Bowmand head on past Fituese and Rachel King (red), picture Bradley Photos
Trapeze Artist @ Widden Bm 88 Handicap, photo finish picture ATC