At $6 the field with online betting sites, the punters didn’t know which way to look in The Group 3 P J Bell Stakes for the three year old fillies over the 1200m at Randwick worth $200,000.
Godolphin pair Heresy and Zapateo were joint favourites at $6, with Mark Newnham’s A Very Fine Red at $6.50 and Me Me Lagarde at $8.
It was a Godolphin first four past the post in the last at Randwick, with Heresy running down Zapateo, Arcaded in third and Larkspur Run rounding out the first four for The Blue Army.
2022 P J Bell Stakes Replay
Godolphin head trainer James Cummings thought it might be a good idea dropping Heresy back to Group 3 level as she hasn’t had the best of luck in her previous two runs and was well suited to the race.
“She had been going so well this preparation.
“She was 100-1 in the Light Fingers and 100-1 in the Surround and we felt like she could’ve finished closer, she didn’t have the best of luck.
“That really vindicated the training that she had been putting in. We elected to take the small fish (a Group 3) because they do make sweet eating and it turned out she had four stablemates that were well suited in the race as well. But she trained beautifully between then and now and Nash (Rawiller) got to feel the benefits of that,” Cummings said.
Cummings also said that Godolphin don’t usually line five stablemates up against each other but thought they were all suited to the Group 3 race and we’re all in with a good chance.
“We don’t normally like doing this. They could all go their separate ways, there’s the filly that could go to the paddock who we weren’t sure would handle the track, the heavy conditions, and that was Hellfest (14th). One can go to Scone, one can go to Adelaide, one could go to Brisbane, one could run in two weeks in the JB Carr, so it gives us a lot of options.”
On getting the first four, Cummings said it was a nice achievement for the stable.
“It’s nice for the stable to get the first four and it’s my first trifecta. It was looking pretty likely at the 250m so it’s very difficult to cheer three horses at once,” he said.
Jockey Nash Rawiller had a frustrating day with two seconds and was relieved when he got Heresy over the line for victory in the last.
“She’s done a terrific job, she’s been really racing well.
“That sort of win will give her a lot of confidence today too, she’s heading in the right direction.
“I got plenty of cover and come to the outside, there was a bit of a bump from the inside and put us off our game for three strides. But she balanced up well and Tim’s (Clark – rider of the second horse Zapateo) horse really kept kicking, but she pulled out plenty when she needed,” Rawiller said.