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Alizee confirms her class with G1 Futurity win

Mike Hedge

Alizee has confirmed her place among the top echelon of Australian racehorses with a hard-fought but convincing victory in Saturday’s G1 Futurity Stakes at Caulfield.

Confronted with her most serious test to date, Alizee produced rare courage and determination to grind out a third G1 win, her first in open company.

After a grueling run three wide without cover, Alizee fought her way to the lead at the 150m before establishing a narrow advantage that she held to the line under a confident Hugh Bowman ride.

The win prompted high praise from trainer James Cummings for whom the success was his third at G1-level this season and his eighth for Godolphin.

"They don't hand out these sort of races, and that is probably the toughest I've seen a horse of mine win a Group 1," Cummings said.

"She's just a brute of a mare and when ridden for a turn of foot, she can be even better."

It was also Alizee’s fourth win on end and the third of her current preparation.

"I suppose it wasn't pretty, but that's four wins straight for her and that she is a deserving weight-for-age Group 1 winner," Cummings said.

"She's a special horse to have in the barn."

As well as being a superior racehorse, Alizee is an impeccably-bred filly, being a half-sister by Sepoy to Godolphin’s G1 winning sprinter and Darley sire Astern (Medaglia d’Oro).

Alizee will now go for the world’s richest mile race, the $5 million All-Star Mile on Saturday, 16 March.

While Cummings regards that race as her major autumn target, he hasn’t ruled out extending her preparation to include the rich offerings over the coming two months of the Sydney carnival.

“Her grand-final is the Melbourne race, but I think there could be enough petrol in the tank to take her back to Sydney for another run,” Cummings said.

As impressive as Alizee’s record is, it could well have been even better had she not been barred from racing during the 2018 spring after suffering a bleeding attack.

Alizee overhauled Malaguerra to win by a half-length with her stablemate Hartnell running another fine race to finish the third, the same margin away.

Godolphin’s third Futurity runner, Best Of Days, inexplicably refused to jump from the gates and took no part in the race.