One of the cheaper buys at the 2021 Australian Easter Yearling Sale, Lady Harlem is quickly proving to be an astute purchase for her connections. The daughter of Sebring sold for $125,000 at the topflight auction and after notching a stakes placing on debut at Moonee Valley last year, she has now added a Sydney city win to her resume.
The two-year-old atoned for a pair of luckless performances with a rails-hugging win in the TAB Handicap (1250m) at Canterbury on Wednesday to earn consideration for a spot on trainer John O’Shea’s spring carnival team.
“She is stakes placed and now she’s a metro winner, so we will just try to build on her career over the next few months,” O’Shea said. “We will see how she pulls up and make some consideration to what happens to her in the spring.”
Lady Harlem ($9.50) was ably ridden by in-form apprentice Reece Jones and showed fight to deny the late bid of the Chris Waller-trained Vienna Princess ($13), with the runner-up’s stablemate Maritima ($3.30 fav) third.
Jones, who celebrated a four-timer at Randwick earlier this month, was delighted to get the job done aboard Lady Harlem given his extensive work with her behind the scenes.
“I have done a lot of her gallops and jump-outs and it was really good to get a win for her because she is probably one of my stable favourites,” Jones said.
While Waller had to settle for the minor prizes in Lady Harlem’s race, he snared the main spoils in the other two-year-old event with Snitzel youngster Alberich. Making his debut, the newcomer stalked favourite and race leader Arch Of Titus before getting the better of the colt and racing clear.
Stable representative Charlie Duckworth said they only decided to start the youngster due to the significant number of scratchings.
“We were probably going to scratch until the race fell away and there were only a handful of runners going around today,” Duckworth said.
“We thought, well he’s forward enough, he knows his job, let’s bring him to the races and find out what he can do. And he can obviously do quite a lot.”