Chris Waller and James McDonald continued their successful association in Melbourne from Flemington to Caulfield as Joliestar stamped herself as a filly of the future with her win in the Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m). A third victory for Waller in the race and a second for McDonald, the pair have now combined for 32 wins at the highest level.
McDonald and Joliestar set sail for the wining post to land the Group 1 feature; picture Racing Photos
Specifically targeted, the stable plan came off as the newly positioned fillies Classic played into the hands of Waller's team in the lead-up and for McDonald in the run.
"For a three-year-old filly, it's a pretty long-range plan," Waller said. "She's still only starting her career, but we did identify that she had ability right from the start."
Winning the Thousand Guineas at her fifth start, the filly by star sire Zoustar notched her second win, adding to two previous black-type placings.
"The progression of good horses is a lot easiest than average horses, it's a simple as that," Waller added.
"She's done it herself. I've found the races, she's turned up. Steven Arnold does a lot of work for us and came and rode her on Tuesday morning and said she got around here well and said she was on the way up."
Starting from barrier one, Joliestar ($4.60) won by 1-1/2 lengths over the Gary Portelli-trained Kimochi ($9.50), with $4.20 second favourite Skybird a further length away in third.
"[The barrier] was pivotal today," McDonald said. "Especially on the circle track … so we were grinning ear to ear walking out.
"She's had a feeling about her that her whole preparation that she has kept improving and improving but she hasn't been winning.
"She hasn't had a lot of luck so I thought today from barrier one, she was going to get every chance. I wish the Melbourne Cup was that easy."
Race favourite Coeur Volante ($3.80) finished fourth with jockey Blake Shinn suggesting that the filly didn't have the strength, at this stage, to see out the mile trip.
What the beaten jockeys reported:
Craig Williams (Kimochi): “Gary Portelli has done a great job managing this filly to get her into being a more furnished racehorse coming to the autumn. We were outsprinted by the eventual winner but she was really sold through the line. I think they’ve got options with distance ranges further in the autumn.”
Blake Shinn (Coeur Volante): “Very happy with the run we got. Presented but maybe just didn’t quite have the strength to run a strong mile. Very gallant.”
Beau Mertens (Skybird): “Very proud of her. She ran a great race. Unfortunately as she deos she was a bit slow out of the barriers and put in a gallant effort. I thought at the top of the straight she was a great chance but unfortunately the way the track is playing it got her beat.”
Kerrin McEvoy (Arctic Glamour): “Great run from her. It was good to see her run the mile out. We just had to come the widest on the corner to make our run which has been hard here to do today but it was pleasing to see her finish this race off.”
Jamie Kah (Carina Queen): “Nice horse. She’s going to win a nice race over 2000-metres.”
Michael Dee (Zourion): “Ridden like that is probably not her go. She’ll be better with a bit of a sit. Tried something today and it didn’t work out.”
Declan Bates (Vivy Air): “She’s run really well. Her lack of early speed from what wide gate meant we ended up at the tail of the field and I think that cost her any chance of winning this race.”
Zac Spain (Apache Song): “Got into a good spot. Travelled nice. Just when the pressure went on she got on one rein.”
Jake Noonan (Enna's Dream): “I’d say she’s come to the end of her preparation. She’s had a great prep but she was running on empty.”
Mark Zahra (Ersa): “Took a chance, rolled forward but she wasn't good enough.
Damien Oliver (Vibrant Sun): “She ran well. There was just too much pressure coming off a maiden into a Group 1 fillies race but we wanted to go forward and she wasn’t capable of going forward today. Really impressed with the way she went through the line. I think she’s got the makings of a nice Oaks filly in the autumn.”
Billy Egan (Quickster): “She didn’t do a bad job to hold her own under that sort of pressure at Group 1 level at her third start. I think she’ll make a nice filly.”