CAULFIELD Guineas day kicked off in fine style for Lindsay Park with Qafila winning the Listed Debutante Stakes.
The two-year-old by Not a Single Doubt entered the race having one a trial at Wodonga by a length and that was all punters needed to see.
Qafila was backed in late to $4.80 at CrownBet.com.au and the talented filly left it to the last stride to score for punters.
“I trialled her once and she showed a bit more speed than that, but today she didn’t show much speed early,” winning jockey Damien Oliver said. “I let her balance up, get back on the inside and she managed to make nice ground before the turn.
“Then she was struggling in the early past of the straight. I didn’t think she was going to pick them up, but when I asked for the supreme effort she dug deep and picked them up.”
Oliver has a big opinion of the juvenile which showed a good deal of maturity to pick up Sacred Sword right on the line.
“She’s got nice scope this filly,” he said. “Especially as a two-year-old at her first start, you don’t see them get back in the ruck and run on.
“She showed she’s a filly with a bit of quality.”
Co-trainer Tom Dabernig was on hand at Caulfield for Lindsay Park and he believes the filly is one of the better two-year-olds in the champion stable.
“We’ve always had an opinion of it, but she was prone to doing it wrong in a jumpout at Flemington down the straight,” Dabernig said. “Today she settled further back in the run than we thought, but she dived at them late and she’s a promising filly.”
The Magic Millions could be the ultimate goal for Qafila, but there could be some more riches to be won during the Melbourne spring carnival first.
“She’s a Magic Millions (runner), so we’ll keep that in mind and obviously with the Flemington carnival coming up there’s the Maribrynong Plate and the fillies race on Cup day,” Dabernig said.
“She’s probably one of the more forward runners and she looks like one of our better ones.”