Those words would have been uttered my many a patron at a race meeting in Mudgee after a three-year-old filly came from an almost impossible position to snatch victory, the name of the horse…HOLY EMPRESS.
Apprentice Quade Krogh had his hands full aboard the daughter of Derby Winner, Roman Emperor (NZ) out the unraced mare Holy One who is from the family of Saintly. HOLY EMPRESS was bred by the late great Bart Cummings.
Fine weather was the order of the day in the Central Districts. With a track rating of a Good 3, the running rail was in the true position. HOLY EMPRESS had been allocated the impost of 55.5kgs The barrier draw had been favourable with the pair drawing barrier three out of a possible ten.
After a previous start, a placing at Scone and an increase in trip to the 1800 metres, punters had HOLY EMPRESS at the prohibitive odds of $1.60 after opening at $1.80.
Just prior to the jump, HOLY EMPRESS was edgy in the gates, fortunately she jumped fairly albeit keen. Shortly after navigating the first turn, the pair settled in fifth position on the fence approximately 3 1/2 lengths from the front runner, Waynarchie.
The leader had “clapped” on a bit of pace and by the time the field were nearing the 1200 metres mark had increased the margin to HOLY EMPRESS to nearly 6 lengths. Just a little over 200 metres further into the race, the pace slackened and the rest of the field were again closing in on Waynarchie.
The field positions remained unchanged for the next 300 metres. It wasn’t until the 600 metres marker was behind them, moves were afoot. Quade was hugging the rail with his mount keen to get on with the job, throwing her head around a little.
On the point of the home bend the speed quickened, but not quite quick enough for HOLY EMPRESS as jockey Quade had to ease slightly whilst looking for a run along the fence inside the leading bunch.
Into the straight, heading for home, the duo encountered disappointment after disappointment as far as inside runs were concerned. It wasn’t until 300 metres from home Quade decided it was time to get out of there.
In the space of less than a 100 metres Quade had HOLY EMPRESS six horses out into open spaces and charging for home. With a few swishes of her tail the filly began picking up the leaders with every huge stride and all her jockey could do was hang on. With still 50 metres to go, HOLY EMPRESS had drawn level with the Garry Lunn-trained pair Traffic Cop and Comzig and still in low-flying mode.
Passing the winning post the margin was over half a length to Comzig and a further nose margin to Traffic Cop. The official race time was 1:54.88, HOLY EMPRESS covering her last 200 metres in around 11 seconds.
Huge Congratulations to Scott and his fellow owners including long time bestie Steph. A job well done in getting the filly into the winners’ circle again. Once your filly matures and gets the hang of this racing business, she’ll be a formidable opponent.
p.s. ... by the way this win bought up a double for the stable with ART OF DEFENCE winning the first at Nowra today. GO GET ‘EM SINGLETON RACING !!