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Athiri celebrates a special birthday with Listed Randwick win

Mike Hedge

The in-form Athiri scored a breakthrough win in Saturday’s Razor Sharp Handicap at Randwick that proved equally significant for her sire Lonhro who turned 22 in the same week.

For Athiri, the success was her first at Stakes level, coming after five black-type placings.

It also made her Lonhro’s 90th individual Stakes winner, an event that wasn’t lost on Godolphin’s raceday representative Darren Beadman.

In his career as a champion jockey, Beadman rode Lonhro to 16 wins and at Randwick on Saturday he understandably gave a nod to the Darley stallion who just completed his latest breeding season at the Darley stallions' Kelvinside base in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales.

“Lonhy's got another Stakes winner. He was 22 the other day so it is good to see him still producing horses of this calibre," Beadman said.

“They celebrated his 21st this time last year and he looked fantastic, he’s been a fabulous horse.”

While Athiri still has some way to go before becoming one of Lonhro’s best, as a Stakes winner she now occupies a place among his elite runners.

Her Razor Sharp win was the fourth in a career that also includes Stakes placings against some of the best of her age – and it was achieved with stunning authority.

After jumping cleanly from a wide gate, Athiri settled behind the leader Space Boy until she reached the top of the Randwick rise where jockey Rachel King allowed her to stride to the lead.

 From that point she had no danger, cruising to the line 1-1/2 lengths clear of Southern Lad to record her third win from her past four starts.  

"She's been up a long time but you certainly need a fit, hard horse today," Beadman said.

King said Athiri's ability to adapt and take up a forward position had been the key to her success.

"She was able to put herself on speed and that's important on this track today," King said.

In the day’s feature event, the Godolphin pair Best Of Days and Criaderas filled the minor placings in the G2 Villiers Stakes behind Greysful Glamour.

For Best Of Days, the performance revealed a glimpse of the form that win him the G1 Kennedy Mile at Flemington two years ago while Criaderas again indicated he is one of the stables more progressive runners, coming from near last to take third place.