SA Group One race on radar for Quilista

Mark Zahra rides Quilista (second from left) to victory
Quilista will target a Group One race in Adelaide after winning at Flemington.

Quilista is likely to get another crack at a Group One sprint after dropping in class and dominating her rivals in a handicap for mares at Flemington.

The Darren Weir-trained former West Australian mare was tried in the Group One Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield at her previous start, beaten less than 2-1/2-lengths in eighth.

The four-year-old dropped back to mares’ grade and started favourite in Saturday’s Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour Trophy (1200m).

Quilista controlled the race on the pace on the grandstand side before sprinting clear over the final 200m.

Weir said Quilista ($2.80) ran up to her Oakleigh Plate performance, beating French Emotion ($5.50) by four lengths with another 1-1/2 lengths to third-placed Hear The Chant ($3).

“Obviously today was nowhere near as strong a race as the Oakleigh Plate and I thought she ran really well in the Oakleigh Plate, she just wasn’t good enough and was a couple of lengths off them,” Weir said.

Victoria’s premier trainer indicated the Group One Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) for fillies and mares in Adelaide in May was a logical target.

“Whether she’s just looking for a little bit further now, a 1400-metre race might be better, but she’s got to go down that Sangster path because she was sent over here to race in the good races and see whether she measured up.

“I thought on her Oakleigh Plate run and the way she won today she deserves a crack at the Sangster.”