Soliloquy victory caps Latta’s day
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.’’
Dijon Bleu gets balanced by rider Leith Innes and scampers to victory in the Soliloquy Stakes.