Well-bred filly Le Gai Soleil (NZ) made it three wins in succession when scoring a comfortably victory on the Kensington track at Randwick on Wednesday over 1550m under leading jockey James McDonald.
Prepared by John O’Shea, Le Gai Soleil is a half-sister to triple Group One winner Danzdanzdance and Kiwi breeders Graham and Helen-Gaye Bax of Blandford Lodge remain in the ownership.
A well-supported $1.95 favourite, Le Gai Soleil was ridden like the best horse in the field, coming from last to loop the field and win by three lengths with plenty in hand.
Le Gai Soleil was one of three winners on the day for McDonald, who took his metropolitan winning tally to 103 for the season, and O’Shea was delighted to link with the Kiwi hoop whom he played a key role in recruiting from across the Tasman in his formative years.
“Le Gai Soleil is just making nice progression and I am really happy for the ownership group, some of whom are here today and got a great thrill to watch her zip down the outside,” O’Shea said.
“It’s also special to see James riding so very well. It’s a credit to him to see him ride 100 winners so far this season. It’s been a good team effort and she was beautifully ridden.”
O’Shea said the opportunity to train Le Gai Soleil came about when he was on his annual tour to New Zealand inspecting yearlings on farm.
“We were looking at yearlings at Blandford Lodge in New Zealand and Mr Bax was kind enough to take me out the back and said ‘would you like to train this nice filly by Tavistock?’
“Of course, I jumped at the opportunity without even knowing her pedigree. She is a really nice filly and that is how she has ended up in the stable.”
O’Shea believes the smart three-year-old could be a black-type prospect next season.
“We will just let her go through the grades for the rest of this preparation and then give her a break and she can come back in the autumn,” he said.
“She is not gassed, there is plenty of improvement in her and she is doing well in the yard.”
Winning jockey James McDonald was pleased to link with the filly with Kiwi connections.
“She’s a beautiful filly to ride,” he said. “ She has taken her time to get to the races and she has still got a bit of furnishing to do, so John has taken her nice and slow and he will reap the rewards.
“She loves wet ground, so this is her time of the year and I have no doubt she will progress to Saturday grade.
“She has got a nice bit of promise about her and a great turn of foot. She is a bit of a galloper so I let her stride from the 450m and she was too good.”