Alizee and Flit Score Stakes double at Randwick
The promise of greater success was delivered in stunning style at Randwick on Saturday by a pair of Godolphin fillies who seem destined to add to their G1 tallies before the autumn is over.
Alizee, already a three-time winner at the top level and one of Australia’s most decorated gallopers, scored a victory in the G2 Apollo Stakes that suggested she was close to her peak.
And in a clean sweep for Godolphin, Flit, the winner of the G1 Thousand Guineas during the spring, produced a first-up win in the G2 Light Fingers Stakes.
While Alizee is one of the best-performed of her sex in training, a small question mark was placed over her name when she finished second on her seasonal return two weeks ago.
But Saturday’s performance erased any doubt that the daughter of Sepoy still had plenty to give.
“There was nothing wrong with her first-up run, but she was more comfortable over a little more ground today,” said trainer James Cummings.
"She has come back and delivered against some very strong weight-for-age horses."
Jockey Hugh Bowman said an improvement in Alizee’s racing manners had been a vital aspect of the win.
“She is a lot more settled now, and she showed that first-up so I wasn't afraid to let her be where she was comfortable," Bowman said.
"She gave me the confidence to ride her where she was happy and from barrier one that put her in the gun spot.”
Alizee raced kindly behind the leader, sliding through on the inside with 300m to run and then finding a vital turn of foot when called on at the distance and going to the line a long neck ahead of Dreamforce with Happy Clapper third.
Flit showed she had lost nothing while recuperating from a spring in which she proved herself a superior filly, producing an irresistible turn of foot that put the Light Fingers result beyond doubt in a couple of strides and allowed her to score.
Cummings and Bowman gave much of the credit for the win to the addition blinkers to bring out some sharpness in the filly over the 1,200m trip.
"With the blinkers on she was able to apply herself and show the promise we have been getting from her over the last 12 months,” Cummings said.
"She didn’t have them on when she won the Thousand Guineas and then she was a little keen over the 2,000m in the Wakeful Stakes at her final run in the spring.
“But she’s probably a little speedy for distances like that.”
Bowman said he’d been anxious about how Flit would cope with the wet Randwick track but the filly dispelled his concerns when she let down.
"I think the blinkers have really helped, especially over these distances. It really switched her on," Bowman said.
Next on the agenda for Flit is the G1 Surround Stakes over 1,400m at Randwick on Saturday, 29 February with a selection of G1s to come during The Championships.