Chris Waller trained his second straight group one win on day two of The Championships after Foxplay forged to the line to take out the Queen Of The Turf Stakes (Coolmore Legacy).
In a driving finish Kerrin McEvoy surged the filly to the front at the 150m mark to return $7.70 at WilliamHill.com.au after the three-year- old just held out a fast-finishing Zanbagh $6.50 Sportsbet.com.au.
Zanbagh’s jockey Damian Lane said a better run in transit would have seen his horse get the job done.
“She ran super.” Lane said.
“If I get a bit better drag into the race she wins.”
Dixie Blossoms held on well under Sam Clipperton to return $2.40 at Crownbet.com.au.
Foxplay’s jockey Kerrin McEvoy said that the horse jumped better than he expected and the filly finished off strongly.
“I wanted to be a bit closer with the lack of speed in the race,” McEvoy said.
“I gave her a kick out of the gates and she was much closer than I thought I’d be.”
“I was wide, full credit to the horse she did a good job, I just had her travelling and she picked up well.”
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McEvoy said the horse “deserved a group one”.
“We were finishing strongly and I was a happy recipient of a tough little filly, she deserves a group one.
“It was a lovely win by this filly, she’s just done a great job.”
It was an impressive win from a horse that has promised a lot over the autumn, and the horse’s trainer Chris Waller said the team sees a lot of parallels in Foxplay and a certain wondermare stablemate.
“She has been a very special horse to us,” Waller said.
“Call her the Winx junior but there are lots of similarities, she started off with a winning bang and has sort of been a little bit forgotten, had a few hard luck stories go against her and funnily enough has run in the same races as Winx.
“Winx didn’t win the Oaks and I decided not to run this filly in the Oaks because I still think she has some brilliance and speed so fortunately we got away with it.”
The champion trainer was full of praise for McEvoy in the aftermath of the win.
“It was a pretty tough effort and good ride from Kerrin, he never panicked and got caught wide but the beauty of that is that you keep them happy, keep them travelling.”