Golden Slipper glow: Muntaseera a cut above the rest
BEATEN in the opening race at Flemington on Melbourne Cup day, blue-blooded filly Muntassera was never going to be denied in race one at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained youngster was a class above her four rivals, giving them a head start and a thrashing in the end, striding away late for an impressive win.
She was immediately installed as the $15 equal second favourite to win the Golden Slipper.
Jockey Hugh Bowman took the prospect of a wide run from the outside out of the equation, letting Munstassera find her feet at the tail of the small field.
Bowman coaxed the daughter of I Am Invincible into the race on the corner and started to build up momentum.
That pair hit the front half way up the straight before putting a gap on the rest.
Muntaseera wins the Sky Racing Active Handicap @rosehillgardens @atc_races today for team @cmaherracing and @eustacedj with a lovely ride from @HugeBowman 💛— Sky Racing (@SkyRacingAU) November 30, 2019
👏@LizzieJelfs’ Pick of the Yard off to a flying start! pic.twitter.com/PWLCu13om8
"I was really pleased with this filly,'' Bowman said. "I probably expected to win given what she did in Melbourne but she certainly didn't disappoint.
''There were only two of them that had race experience so she has the benefit of the run in Melbourne. I thought she was a bit more sensible today and did everything nicely.
"She has got a good bit of improvement to come and I think her distance range will open up a lot of options for her.
"She will be effective over 1200m and it wouldn't surprise me to see her effective over up to a mile possibly. She is a still a little bit immature physically, to my eye, but there is plenty of horse there to work with.''
Muntaseera's stakes-placing in the Group 2 VRC Ottawa Stakes (1000m) on Cup day already boosted her value to an astronomical degree.
That said, she would be hard to buy off her owner/breeder - Sheik Bin Khalifa, the first cousin of sheik Mohammed.
Muntaseera's dam, Moosira, is a sister to sheik Khalifa's champion galloper Musir who won a Group 1 in South African before a UAE Derby win in Dubai.
"Muntaseera is a filly that we have always had a really big opinion of and we are really grateful to sheik Khalifa and Tim Stakemire (racing manager),'' Maher/Eustace's Sydney stable boss Annabel Neasham said.
"It's actually the first year we have trained for them and we have got a couple of really smart fillies for them now heading into the autumn.
The "other" filly whom Neasham alluded to is Cellsabeel, who arguably produced the run of the race when she debuted in the $1 million Golden Gift (1000m) at Rosehill last month.