Gongs sounds warning to Slipper rivals

Jockey Kerrin McEvoy (centre) rides Gongs to win race 1.
Gongs has put her Golden Slipper rivals on alert with a commanding victory at Rosehill.

Godolphin filly Gongs has put her Golden Slipper rivals on notice a second time with a comfortable victory at Rosehill.

The Dawn Approach two-year-old stayed unbeaten in style with an assured half-length win in the Merry Christmas ATC Members Handicap (1200m).

Gongs launched her career with a crushing victory at a Canterbury midweek meeting in November and although the margin was not as emphatic on Saturday, she was still a class above.

“She’s got a touch of class and brilliance about her,” Godolphin assistant trainer Darren Beadman said.

“I’m a huge fan of Dawn Approach. I think he’s got a very special filly here.

“The demeanour of the filly, she’s nice and relaxed, she conserves her energy.”

Gongs is Irish stallion Dawn Approach’s second Australian runner after Dawn Moon, and first winner.

The $1.45 favourite pulled clear under Kerrin McEvoy to coast to the line ahead of the Chris Waller-trained colt Orcein ($7.50).

Waller’s debutant Charge ($9.50) was 2-1/4 lengths back in third.

Beadman said the next step of Gongs’ development would be discussed when head trainer James Cummings returns from watching It’s Somewhat in the Group One Kingston Town Classic in Perth.

“We’ll have a bit of a talk and hopefully she’s here on the right (Golden Slipper) day,” he said.

Beadman thought Gongs was spot on mentally, equating that part of her make-up to a four-year-old mare.

“She just has to mature a bit more maturity physically,” he said.

“She hasn’t got much muscle definition. She’s quite slabby but she’s got a good engine and that’s what counts.”

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