Beautifully-bred 3-year-old filly Shivani opened up her winning account at race start four when running out an easy winner of the $50,000, Stud & Stable Staff Awards Handicap (1400m) on Sydney’s midweek metropolitan program at Warwick Farm.
A daughter of a former co-champion 3YO filly in the form of Villa Verde, Shivani had disappointed at her previous outing when sent out a short-priced favourite of a Fillies & Mares Maiden event at Newcastle on Boxing Day.
However, opposed by five rivals on this occasion and backed into even money for today’s assignment, the bonny grey daughter of Sebring unleashed a brilliant turn of foot soon after turning for home and broke through for her first career victory in a style which indicated that it should by no means prove to be her last.
Certainly, if her bloodlines have anything to do with it, Shivani should prove well up to stakes company at some stage in the not too distant future.
In addition to her dam being a winner of the Group 2 Challenge Stakes, Shivani is also closely related to this season’s brilliant stakes winning 3-year-old Doubtland. Furthermore, Shivani’s 3rd-dam is the black-type winning juvenile filly Sushi Rocket, herself a half-sister to Golden Slipper winner and celebrated sire Rory’s Jester.
Shivani won by a contemptuous three lengths winning margin from Comporta (NZ), who in turn finished three-and-three-quarter lengths ahead of Desert Flame in third.
Winning time on a Soft 5 was 1m22.69s, the final 600m sectional being recorded as 34.30s.
Betting on the race saw Shivani start as the $1.95 favourite, ahead of Comporta at $2.70. Third placed Desert Flame was returned at $6.00.
Trained by Team Hawkes on behalf of Kia Ora 2009, Shivani has only once been unplaced in four starts, with her maiden victory escalating her earnings to $46,250.
The $50,000, Vinery Stud Maiden Handicap (1400m), a 3YO Colts & Geldings contest that immediately followed on the same Warwick Farm program, saw Gallant Lad score a big-price success when winning at generous double-figure odds.
Having only his second career start and fitted with blinkers for the first time in his fledgling career, the David Payne-trained 3-year-old held off the sustained challenge of Vanderland over the closing stages to score by more than a length.
Grenado (NZ) finished marginally adrift of Vanderland in third.
Similar to the first winner, Gallant Lad is a particularly well-bred 3-year-old, being produced by the Group 2 winning Galileo (Ire) race filly Gallant Tess — also trained in the same interests (Mr J J Cordina) by ex-pat South African horseman David Payne.
Gallant Lad was returned at $31.00, Vanderland at $2.30 fav, and Grenado (NZ) at $5.50.
Winning time on a Good 4 upgraded surface was 1m22.78s (last 600m in 35.64s).
Official margins were 1-1/4 Len x Short Head.
Stud & Stable Staff Awards Handicap
Vinery Stud Handicap, photo finish pictures ATC