Sierra Sue claims Group 1 Futurity Stakes

Sierra Sue (NZ) ridden by John Allen wins the Futurity Stakes at Caulfield. (George Sal/Racing Photos)

After finishing fourth in the C.F. Orr Stakes on February 12, Sierra Sue proved that she is a serious racehorse, winning her second Group 1 at Caulfield in the Futurity Stakes (1400m).

The Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young-trained mare was too good for a fast-finishing Mo’unga, while Tofane was game in defeat after sustaining a wide run throughout.

Starting from barrier one under John Allen, the Irish hoop used that gate to his advantage to ensure a handy spot in the run, before slicing his way through to put paid to his rivals.

The win meant that Sierra Sue took her career record to nine wins from 22 starts and over $1.5 million in prizemoney.

“The way the track was playing we were a little worried because she generally likes to get back a little bit but we had that barrier one and I said to John ‘look don’t get off that rail, wait, wait, wait, she’s got a 250m sprint’,” Natalie Young said.

“I said ‘just roll off when you need to’ and look it panned out perfectly.

“Maybe she needed it (her last start) a little bit. Weight-for-age is always a little bit more difficult when she’s carrying that 57kgs.

“She had spelled fantastic and we hadn’t really tuned her right up.

“But today it just worked out perfect and she paraded fantastic, she looked super and now she’s a multiple Group 1 winner and she’s a valuable mare. A Darci Brahma from New Zealand so flying the flag for the Kiwi breeders.”

By winning the Futurity, Sierra Sue earnt herself a Wild Card for next month’s All Star Mile, which her jockey believes is a good target for her.

“She’s in form, she goes good, she’s won over the mile around Flemington before, so there’s no reason not to go there with the big prizemoney on offer and she’d be in with a big shout,” Allen said.

“The race (Futurity Stakes) couldn’t have worked out any better really. I knew there would be a bit of pressure early, but we just wanted to use a bit early to hold the box seat.

“I was happy when we were tracking through, the horse outside the lead was asked to do a lot of work, so I was pretty hopeful it was going to drop off in the home straight and we were travelling that well.

“When she did get out, she let down well and showed a good turn of foot.”

Sierra Sue firmed into $10 for the All Star Mile after her win in the Futurity Stakes, while I’m Thunderstruck drifted out to $6 following his below-expectation performance.

Beaten Jockeys:

  • 2nd: Mo’unga – Jamie Kah: “Very happy. He’s in for a very good prep.”
  • 3rd: Tofane – Mark Zahra: “She ran very well. The track is playing very rude for a Group 1 day but she ran well under the circumstances.”
  • 4th: Turaath – Damian Lane: “Good tough run.”
  • 5th: I’m Thunderstruck – Jye McNeil: “He’s run fantastic. Just from that position when we were held up we had to wait for the winner to quicken and we were left flatfooted but he’s on track for the All-Star Mile.”
  • 6th: Streets Of Avalon – Brett Prebble: “He’s a lovely old boy. He’s just probably lost a bit of his zip.”
  • 7th: Extreme Flight – Damian Thornton: “Disappointing.”
  • 8th: Mr Mozart – Damien Oliver: “Had to do a bit of work but probably found the class a bit too strong.”
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