Smart money on top filly Melody

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - SPORT - CRAIG BRENNAN

BRENTON Av­dulla sac­ri­ficed a full book of rides in Sydney to part­ner promis­ing filly Smart Melody to an im­pres­sive win at Flem­ing­ton yes­ter­day.

A hot favourite firm­ing from $2.80 into $2.25, Smart Melody scored a 1½-length win over Mu­sic Bay ($9) with Lady Pluck ($71) a fur­ther 1¼ lengths away third in the Listed Cap D’An­tibes Stakes (1100m).

The Kris Lees-trained filly is now un­beaten in four starts af­ter mak­ing a win­ning de­but at New­cas­tle in June.

Av­dulla won this year’s Golden Slip­per on Esti­jaab and gave Smart Melody a glow­ing re­port af­ter win­ning aboard the filly at Can­ter­bury at her sec­ond start.

“I rode her as a late twoyear-old, which can be a bit dif­fer­ent as they’re more sea­soned and ed­u­cated, but the way she de­stroyed her ri­vals at Can­ter­bury I thought she was pretty smart,” Av­dulla said.

“Even though she beat mid­week, pro­vin­cial horses she did it off a stand­ing start in in­fe­rior ground.

“I’ve sac­ri­ficed a lot of rides in Sydney to come down and ride her to­day, so I’m keen to stay aboard.”

Av­dulla said Smart Melody was likely to get her chance at 1400m in the Thou­sand Guineas Pre­lude on Septem­ber 30 ahead of the Thou­sand Guineas (1600m) on Oc­to­ber 13.

SEV­ERAL op­tions are on the ta­ble for Bru­tal af­ter the colt’s all-the-way win in the Antler Lug­gage Plate (1400m).

Pushed along from his in­side draw by Dwayne Dunn, Bru­tal ($2.90 favourite) fought back af­ter be­ing headed by run­ner-up Leonardo Da Hinchi ($10) to win by a half-head. Good ‘N’ Fast ($10) was a fur­ther 1¼ lengths away third.

Co-trainer Wayne Hawkes said a de­ci­sion was likely to­mor­row on which di­rec­tion the sta­ble took with the three­year-old.

Op­tions in­clude back­ing up next Satur­day in the Golden Rose at Rose­hill, press­ing on to­wards the Caulfield Guineas (1600m) or fresh­en­ing for the Cool­more Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flem­ing­ton in Novem­ber.

Hawkes even in­di­cated the colt could be sent for a spell.

“Those races are there and they’re very tempt­ing, but we’re go­ing to let him tell us what he wants to do,” Hawkes said.

“It’s his first prep and he’s go­ing to be a hell of a horse in the au­tumn.”

Hawkes said Bru­tal had to do it the tough way yes­ter­day by lead­ing and rac­ing into a fierce head­wind.

“He’s won a stakes race over 1400m at Flem­ing­ton, so for where he is at this stage of his ca­reer, it doesn’t get any bet­ter,” Hawkes said.

Pic­ture: AAP

UN­BEATEN: Hot favourite Smart Melody races clear of her ri­vals at Flem­ing­ton yes­ter­day.

OP­TIONS: Co-trainer Wayne Hawkes is de­lighted.

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