Chine shines in straight scamper

He’s had a quiet carnival by his usual high standards but Flemington trainer Danny O’Brien got on the board with Crepe De Chine in the Listed Lexus Stakes (1100m).

O’Brien was one of the leading trainers at last year’s Cup week with Group 1 wins in the Salinger and Emirates Stakes but this time around had remained winless until today’s success.

The former Kiwi mare has been with O’Brien for just three runs and is yet to run a bad race, including two wins.

Ridden by Glen Boss, the mare jumped well and was on the pace throughout and although hit the front a long way from home had too big a break over the luckless Megadeal and Posadas.

The favourite in a very open race, Biscayne Bay, was hot on their heels in fourth place.

Crepe De Chine, a Group 3 winner in New Zealand, made her Australian debut with a game fourth in the Group 3 How Now Stakes at Caulfield then dropped back to easier grade there last start to hang on for a narrow win.

Today she dropped significantly in weight as she went up in grade but had the race won a long way out.

“She showed tremendous speed from the barriers,” Boss said. “I didn’t want to be that far in front that far from home but she was traveling easily and was too good.”

O’Brien has had a lot of success with former Kiwi mares including Glamour Puss and is predictive further wins for Crepe De Chine.

“She’s a really strong, fast mare who has had just three runs for up and won two of them,” O’Brien said. “She’ll go for a break and come back for some good race in the autumn.”

It was a lucky pick-up ride for Boss after Kerrin McEvoy was earlier taken to hospital after a fall in the first race and the second mount of McEvoy’s to salute, the other being Theresnothinglycra in the Pentax Plate, ridden by Damien Oliver.

While it was a belated win for O’Brien in terms of Cup week the carnival is far from over, with the stable set to saddle up a number of top chances on Emirates day.

In the feature race, the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m), O’Brien saddles up last year’s winner Valedictum as well as American import Honor In War.

Other runners include Splashing Out in the Age Classic, Pin Up in the Hilton International Stakes, Threedee in the Emirates Airlines Handicap and Forest Spy in the Supernova Handicap.

by Jason Hickson - RacingandSports.com.au

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