Trainer's punt on filly pays off

JUSTE Momente, winner of yesterday's Enterprise Plate at Flemington, showed she could well be a group-class filly and also underlined the judgement of her trainer, Danny O'Brien, with her victory.

Juste Momente, who scored her second city success in as many starts, was a bold purchase by O'Brien, who paid $300,000 for her just over 12 months ago.

O'Brien said that before the Easter sales he had inspected Juste Momente and had examined X-rays taken from the then yearling.

"The X-rays weren't that flash, but many good horses have come through sales with poor X-rays and yet turned out to be group horses," O'Brien said.

"What it did mean, though, was that it put a lot of people off, but I was still convinced she would be an excellent purchase.

"Had the X-rays not been there she probably would have sold for $800,000 or more.

"There was a little problem with her hind fetlock but apart from that she seemed terrific. Wayne Hawkes told me that they were going to bid on the filly until their vet told them that it would be an unwise purchase."

O'Brien said the $300,000 was the most he had paid for a horse and was relieved that his judgement had been vindicated.

O'Brien said he was now in two minds whether to give Juste Momente another start or send her to the paddock to spell for the spring.

"I really think she's a spring prospect and races like the Thousand Guineas and Oaks would not be beyond her," he said.

Juste Momente firmed from $4.20 to $3.80 and finished strongly to beat Miss Fantabulous ($14) by a head, with The Italian ($3.60 favourite) 2½ lengths away third.

The Italian was prominent until the 200-metre mark but couldn't counter the strong finish of Juste Momente and Miss Fantabulous.

Muzdaher, a big drifter from $2.25 to $4, looked to be travelling well at the turn but was beaten soon after.

by Patrick Bartley - The Age

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