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Colette returns with stunning G2 Apollo Stakes victory

Mike Hedge

Two of the most talented members of Godolphin’s Australian team stepped up to significant challenges at Randwick on Saturday, 13 February, and emerged with reputations enhanced and with  the future beckoning.

Colette, the G1 ATC Oaks champion of 2020 and winner last spring of the $7.5m Golden Eagle, resumed from a short spell to score a stunning win in the G2 Apollo Stakes, proving again she has the versatility to match her class.

On the same Randwick card, Tailleur (Shooting To Win), the winner of five of her previous seven starts, graduated to Stakes grade with victory in the G3 Triscay Stakes in a style that promised much more.

As the winner last autumn of Australia’s premier fillies’ classic, Colette suggested she had a bright future over middle distance and staying trips.

But that notion was revised when trainer James Cummings chose the Golden Eagle at 1,400m as her spring mission.

Colette duly triumphed and the Apollo was her first outing since, again over 1,400m.

The mare took up a prominent position from the jump, cruising behind the leading pair before easing away from the inside at the 300m, swooping on the lead soon after and streaking clear for a two-length win over the multiple G1 winner Kolding with another G1 winner Verry Elleegant in third place.

“She came into this race in good shape after her light spring preparation and she enjoyed the wet track,” Cummings said.

“The intention is to step her up in distance which will probably happen fairly quickly.”

Colette’s campaign is now likely to be confined largely to G1 targets

“She will be nominated for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the Sydney Cup and before that will be set for the Tancred Stakes,” he said.

Unlike her stable companion, Tailleur had yet to prove herself in the best company, but she came to Saturday’s G3 Triscay Stakes as the winner of five of her seven starts and emerged from it with a six-from-eight record.

Given the perfect ride by Kerrin McEvoy who had her out of the gates on cue and quickly into stride, Tailleur had control of the race from the start.

The pair cruised through the first 800m and began to wind up entering the home straight, and but for a few strides at the 150m when the runner-up Tricky Gal challenged, she never appeared to be in danger.

Tailleur duly maintained a fluent action over the final stages to defeat Tricky Gal by a half-length with Icebath in third place.

“We’ve been really patient waiting for her first crack at a black-type race and it paid off today,” Cummings said.

“She could be kept fresh for a really good race like The Galaxy or we could just plot our path through the mares races in the next few weeks.”

The future may be a little closer for the two-year-old colt Ingratiating who could back up in next week’s G1 Blue Diamond Stakes following his success in the Listed Talindert Stakes at Flemington.

A winner over the same Flemington straight course on debut last October, Ingratiating became the first multiple Stakes winner for his sire Frosted.