Trainer sees 'wonderful' future ahead for Godolphin filly Colette after second Australia win
James Cummings-trained Halloween Crown filly wins Group 1 Australian Oaks in Sydney just days after triumph in Adrian Knox Stakes
James Cummings foresees “a wonderful future” ahead for Godolphin’s Australian Oaks winner Colette after she romped to an emphatic victory at Randwick on Saturday.
Returning to the Sydney track seven days after claiming the Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes, the Halloween Crown filly triumphed again over the same two rivals, Toffee Tongue and Quintessa, in the 14-runner field to take the in the A$500,000 (Dh1.16 million) Group 1 race.
It gave the Royal Blues their third Group 1 prize worldwide and takes their 2020 tally to 171 winners in a year in which horse racing - including last month's Dubai World Cup at Meydan - has been cancelled or severely curtailed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“She’s got a wonderful future, she’s a really great example of coming through our system,” Cummings told the Godolphin website.
“She extended her campaign beautifully for what has been an excellent plan to come to fruition, to perform like that and to start favourite on the day against some well-performed horses.
“She’s now stormed away with an Oaks win; it’s an amazing highlight for her.”
Glen Boss in the saddle drove Colette from the outside to take the lead at the 300-metre mark over the extended 2,400m distance she was tackling for the first time.
“He’s delivered a beautiful ride on her, quickly understood that she is a sweet filly, he just needed to have her in a position where he could steer her into the clear and she stayed on too strongly,” Cummings said of Boss.
Boss, who was riding Colette for the first time, said: “She's not big but she doesn't ride like a little horse.
“She's got a big action and she was able to put herself in the right spot. It was relatively easy, a bit of point and shoot stuff really.”
Colette’s biggest victory to date stretched her career record to four wins and two second places in seven starts.
Addeybb, in the silks of Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid, bagged the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, the second of the three Group 1 prizes that was on offer at Randwick.
Trained in the UK by William Haggas and ridden by British jockey Tom Marquand, Addeybb ran on strongly to win from Verry Elleegant and Japanese raider Danon Premium by two and three-quarter lengths and half-a-length respectively.
On Sunday, Godolphin will be looking to add another Group 1 prize when they send out Woman’s Heart and Cape Cod to contest the Oka Sho – the Japanese 1,000 Guineas – at Hanshin.
The Katsuichi Nishiura-trained Woman’s Heart won her first two starts, including the Group 3 Nigata Nisai Stakes.
Kota Fujioka will be atop the Heart’s Cry filly who has since finished fourth and sixth in her last two starts, in the Group 1 Hanshin Juvenile Fillies in December and in the Group 2 Tulip Sho in March.
Mizuki Takayanagi’s Cape Cod steps up to a mile for the first time having finished eighth over 1,400m in the Group 2 Hochi Hai Fillies' Revue in her last start last month.
The Japanese apprentice Mirai Iwata is booked to ride the Daiwa Major filly, who posted two Stakes wins over 1,200m as a two-year-old, including victory in the Christmas Rose Stakes at Nakayama in December.
“As entry fees for Japanese Group 1 races are effectively zero, it is therefore hardly surprising that big races in Japan usually attract full gates,” Harry Sweeney, president of Godolphin in Japan, told godolphin.com.
“This is especially so for the Classics and, on Sunday, 18 fillies will line up for the Oka Sho, each one having earned the right to run by either winning or placing in designated trial races or being in the top 10 of their year in terms of prize money already earned on the track.
“It is therefore a very significant achievement that Godolphin Japan, from only 23 fillies born in 2017, has two qualified to run in the first Classic of the year.”
Sweeney believes Woman’s Heart as the better chance having won a Group 3 prize.
“Woman’s Heart is certainly the best of the pair,” he added. “She was joint second highest-rated two-year-old filly in Japan last year but could do no better than sixth on her seasonal debut in March.
“She will be largely running against the same fillies again and, on form, will need to have improved by four to five lengths to claim the main prize.”
“Cape Cod won three times last year, all over six furlongs. She has however disappointed when tried at seven furlongs, so the mile of the Oka Sho will be a real stretch for her.”
Updated: April 16, 2020 01:55 PM