Stand-in jockey Christian Reith has blamed racing circumstances for the odds-on defeat of Godolphin’s blue blood filly Alizee at Randwick.
Earmarked as a potential Golden Slipper 2017 horse, Astern’s half-sister missed a place in the ATC Staff Recognition Day Handicap.
But while it will be small consolation for those took the $1.75 about Alizee, Reith said it wasn’t the filly’s fault she finished fourth to another richly bred filly in Villa Carlotta.
Reith had the ride on Azilee as a replacement for Godolphin’s injured retained jockey James Doyle.
He gave Azilee a sweet trip but when a three-wide runner held its ground until it was too late, the jockey found himself waiting for a gap that never came.
“I was trying to establish a run to make myself a run but circumstances were (against me),” Reith told stewards.
“I went to sit behind Hugh Bowman (on Ten Carat) ) which I thought had a good chance.
“I thought (Bowman’s) horse would have found a bit more than it did.”
Reith had to switch course to the inside from the 200m and Azilee finished her work off strongly to wind up fourth – less than three lengths from Villa Carlotta ($12).
Villa Carlotta is by Winx’s sire Street Cry from Florentina, a Gold Goast Guineas winner for prominent owner-breeder John Camilleri when ridden by Glyn Schofield.
Fittingly it was Schofield in Camilleri’s colours who encouraged something extra from Villa Carlotta in the last 100m to beat the colt Faegar ($14) by three-quarters of a length.
Trainer James Cummings saw enough to be tempted to give Villa Carlotta her chance to be part of the Golden Slipper conversation.
“The way she ambled up three and four wide around the bend with a big striding action and held off a nice colt, I think there is plenty of style about the win,” Cummings said.
“She’s coming good at the right time. She’s nominated for good races and if I can get her to pull up well then we can consider a race as good as the Reisling (Stakes) at her next start.
The $300,000 Reisling Stakes earns the winner automatic entry into the Golden Slipper Field and the Group Two race will be run at Randwick on March 4.
“She might have to take a big step but it certainly looks like she has got plenty of quality to be worth considering for those types of races,” Cummings said.