The race morning scratching of pre-post favourite and likely leader Religify has paved the way for Sweet Redemption to claim her biggest win in the Group Three Festival Stakes at Rosehill.
Her rider Brenton Avdulla said the race had panned out perfectly for Sweet Redemption, runner-up at her past two starts in the Summoned Stakes at Sandown and the Goulburn Cup.
“With Religify out I was confident I could get complete control and it worked out perfectly,” Avdulla said.
“In the straight they got to within half a length of me but she lifted again.
“She’s a very tough mare.”
Trained by Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, Sweet Redemption was supported late from $9 to start $5.50.
Avdulla bounced her to the front and she rolled along at her own pace with enough in reserve to to hold off Melbourne visitor Hazzabeel ($6) by a short neck with Red Excitement ($11) another long neck third.
The Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Extensible started the $4.80 favourite but could only manage fifth while second elect Rageese ($5) finished ninth with premier Melbourne trainer Darren Weir still chasing a winner in Sydney.
The Festival Stakes (1500m) is a lead-up to Sydney’s summer showpeice, the Group Two Villiers Stakes (1600m) in two weeks but Waterhouse said there were other options for Sweet Redeemotion.
“We’ll see how she pulls up but she is a Magic Millions horse so the fillies and mares race is where she’ll head,” she said.
“How she gets there we con’t yet know but there’s more chance she will go north for one of those Listed races in Brisbane than the Villiers.
“She is lovely mare and keeps improving. But she has been up a while.”
The Magic Millions carnlval is on January 14 with all races worth a minimum $1 million.
The Chris Waller-trained Religify was found to be lame after trackwork on Saturday morning putting his Villiers campaign in doubt.
After a treble to Tim Clark at Rosehill, Avdulla’s win puts him back on level pegging in both the Sydney and state jockeys’ premierships.
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au