Castanya comes late to claim the Lonhro Plate

Warwick Farm’s Annabel Neasham produced an almost rarity at Randwick on Saturday when her two-year-old filly Castanya under apprentice Zac Lloyd not only won the $200,000 Listed Lonhro Plate (1000m), but pushed the juvenile runner from the Waterhouse and Bott stable, Anode, into third place.

Left to right, Embassy and Tommy Berry, Anode and Adam Hyeronimus, Castanya and apprentice Zac Lloyd, picture

Waterhouse and Bott have been all conquering this season with their two-year-old’s and Anode with Adam Hyeronimus up had been well supported leading into Saturday to continue the winning streak.. The colt drifted late in the market on Saturday, from $2.30 to $3.80 but still started as the favourite.

Hyeronimus and Anode (56kg) were out quickly from barrier 11 but they were unable to gain the lead with Embassy (56kg) and Tommy Berry up inside along with Mrs Maree and Kerrin McEvoy.

While the action was sorted out in front and the turn into the main straight Lloyd and Castanya (54kg) were at the rear of the 11 strong field and they cornered in the last four.

Embassy and Anode went clear to dispute the leading role and the race did look to be between the two of them.

A long way back with 5L to the leading duo at the 200m Castanya was in clear running room and Lloyd had the filly balanced and motoring. There was much ground to make up, still 1L at the 50m, but in the final two strides they went past Embassy for the win, the margin a long head.

Embassy (I Am Invincible) and Berry were 3/4L ahead of Anode (I Am Invincible) and Hyeronimus with Celerity and Tim Clark fourth, a further 1 1/2L back.

Castanya paid $9.50 on fixed odds after starting the day at $12.00 and $10.50 on the tote. The time on the Soft 6 track was 57.48 and the final 600m in 33.76. Castanya came home over his final 600m in 32.99.

Castanya, by Capitalist out of the Encosta de Lago mare Ganda, had finished a 2 3/4L second to Switzerland in his debut over 1000m at Randwick on January 27th. Switzerland is the current second favourite at $8.00 with TAB for the Group 1 TAB Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on March 23rd. Castanya firmed from $51.00 into $21.00 after his win. The Waterhouse and Bott trained Storm Boy is the current favourite at $3.00.

The filly is owned by a large group including Mystery Downs, Mrs C M Cook, Mr G D Sheehan, Mr R W Mutton, Mr S N Gordon, Mr J J O'Toole, Miss K L Starr, Mr P Chodasewicz, Smart H R T, Mr G Cua, Mr S Cua, Mr T Mehmet, Mr T Figliola, Mr M Caputo, Mr P Caputo, Mr G D Sergi, Mr R Cua, Mr P L Ward, Hon. G J Williamson and Mr F Cua. The two starts have earned stakes of $161,200 .

"I was not sure she was going to get there but that last stride she really dug deep," Neasham said.

"Obviously we will see how she pulls up, but I think we will go to one of the fillies' Slipper lead-ups. I think that has surely got to have her in the picture now.

"She was second behind a smart one last time, I think she has taken improvement today."

Lloyd has been aboard Castanya in both her starts and says while she lacks tactical speed, she has a big finish to make up for it.

However, he admitted he was wary she may have already been looking for further than 1000 metres going into Saturday's race.

"She is a lovely filly, really push-button," Lloyd said.

"After her first run we were very happy with the run, but we were just a bit worried about the 1000 metres again today.

"Once again she was run off her feet but the last 200 (metres) was very good.

"She is still a bit all legs and she obviously does not have that early toe like some of the other two-year-olds, but she has got that flying finish. And the further she goes, the better she'll be."

Berry said Embassy did a great job at his first start after unexpectedly finding himself in front.

"The winner had race experience which was probably the difference," Berry said.

Lonhro Plate, photo finish picture ATC