So­lil­o­quy vic­tory caps Latta’s day

Sunday Star-Times - - Sport/Racing - TIM RYAN

FRESH from a break af­ter suc­ces­sive black-type wins, Di­jon Bleu was back down to busi­ness at Eller­slie yes­ter­day.

The slight but ath­letic Lisa Latta-trained filly capped off a won­der­ful day for the Awa­puni sta­ble with her win in the Listed So­lil­o­quy Stakes (1400m).

Latta had ear­lier trained two win­ners at Tren­tham in­clud­ing Listed Welles­ley Stakes hero Sir Nate.

‘‘It’s great for the sta­ble af­ter the re­sults we had at Tren­tham ear­lier in the day,’’ said sta­ble rep­re­sen­ta­tive Andy Ren­nie, who also shares in the own­er­ship of Di­jon Bleu.

Di­jon Bleu was sent out favourite by pun­ters im­pressed with her run­away win in the Listed O’Leary’s Fil­lies’ Clas­sic (1200m) at Wan­ganui be­fore an­other dom­i­nant dis­play to claim the Group III Hawke’s Bay Breed­ers’ Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) at Hast­ings.

Af­ter a short break fol­low­ing the Gold Trail, Latta set her for the So­lil­o­quy as a lead-up to the Group I 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Ric­car­ton in a few weeks where she is on the sec­ond line of bet­ting be­hind Prom Queen.

She jus­ti­fied her 1000 Guineas spot with an ex­tra­or­di­nary per­for­mance to beat Satur­day’s qual­ity field.

A squeeze be­tween run­ners at the jump forced jockey Leith Innes to ease the Bur­gundy filly and set­tle well back in the field.

She eased into her work and when her rider asked for an ef­fort she quickly as­serted her su­pe­ri­or­ity.

She gave Innes a mo­ment of anx­i­ety when she shied, as first time Eller­slie vis­i­tors of­ten do, half way up the home straight.

But trou­ble was avoided and with mind back on the task at hand, she won by a neck from Kapoor with Cam­pari third.

‘‘Leith said she didn’t have a lot go her way in the early stages of the race, so for her to pick her­self up and win was fan­tas­tic,’’ Ren­nie said. ‘‘She just keeps step­ping up to the plate.’’

Kapoor will head to Ric­car­ton as will Cam­pari.

Di­jon Bleu was al­ready the $7 sec­ond favourite for the 1000 Guineas and the TAB re­sponded to the win by tight­en­ing her quote to $4.

A pro­fes­sional front-run­ning per­for­mance brought Crys­tal­lize vic­tory in the 2-year-old race over high-priced year­ling Al Hasa and al­most cer­tainly se­cured him­self a place in the field for the Karaka Mil­lion.

Crys­tal­lize was a $52,500 pur­chase at Karaka, was sent straight to the lead by rider Alysha Col­lett and was tack­led and headed in the straight by Al Hasa, an Ex­ceed And Ex­cel-Oasis Rose colt who cost $625,000 as a year­ling.

Crys­tal­lize fought back to re­gain the lead in an ex­cit­ing fin­ish to score by a head.

‘‘He’s won $13,500 now, and in pre­vi­ous years that’s been enough to get into the Karaka Mil­lion field,’’ trainer Danny Walker said. ‘‘That takes the pres­sure off a bit.’’

TR­ISH DUNELL

Di­jon Bleu gets bal­anced by rider Leith Innes and scam­pers to vic­tory in the So­lil­o­quy Stakes.

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