A year after her racing future was in doubt, the Kris Lees-trained Princess Posh stamped her broodmare value with a home victory in the group 3 Tibbie Stakes (1400 metres) at Newcastle on Friday.
The five-year-old mare ($9.50) was midfield on the fence before jockey Glyn Schofield peeled out and found room to wear down favourite Savatiano ($3.30) over the final 200m.
The length win, after a fourth in the Mona Lisa Stakes, was her seventh in 21 starts but her first at black-type level. It completed a double for Hunter-based syndicators Australian Bloodstock, who claimed the first with the Darren Weir-trained Ocean Walzer.
Co-director Luke Murrell was delighted with the victory, which came 12 months after Princess Posh was almost retired due to injury. He said she was a day-to-day proposition but Lees had “done an amazing job” to keep the mare on track.
Only a $25,000 yearling, Princess Posh took her prizemoney past $386,000 and her broodmare stocks likely just as high. Lees last claimed the Tibbie Stakes on his home track in 2014 with Fine Bubbles.
In the $200,000 Newcastle Cup (2300m), the Chris Waller-trained favourite Carzoff ($3.60) found space late under a perfect ride from Kerrin McEvoy to score a half-length win. The former French galloper backed up his Wyong Cup victory to edge out the Richard Freedman-trained Auvray, which was second in the Newcastle Cup last year to Broadside.
Waller racing manager Liam Prior said the six-year-old gelding, racing in Australia since May last year, had taken time to mature and acclimatise but was now full of confidence.
“There’s a few races around, but I think The Metropolitan is probably the right race for him,” Prior said.
Godolphin and jockey Tye Angland went back-to-back in the group 3 Spring Stakes (1600 metres) when Aramayo ($6 favourite) sprinted late to beat stablemate Cloak by a length. Angland took the James Cummings-trained Astoria to victory in 2017. Aramayo will likely target the group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) in which Astoria finished fifth in last year.
“I think he might be a bit better than Astoria,” Angland said. “He’s only had a handful of runs, and that’s his second win now. He’s quite a nice horse with a big future and he’ll probably head towards the derby staying races.”
The Joe Pride-trained New Tipperary ($31) capped the day with a boilover in the group 3 Cameron Handicap (1500m), beating Red Excitement by a length. It was jockey Tim Clark’s third Cameron win in a row. It was the six-year-old’s first victory in almost two years and gave him a start in the group 1 Epsom Handicap.
“Quite possibly,” Pride said of an Epsom run. “Randwick doesn’t seem to be his favourite track but he has been on a few wet tracks that haven’t suited him, so we’ll see how he pulls up.
“He hasn’t won in two years but he’s been unlucky on a few occasions. He’s had a few issues with his knees, but he’s spot on now.”
“He’s a good horse and a little bit underestimated, but the handicapper hasn’t forgotten him. His benchmark hasn’t moved in a long time.”