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G1 triumph for Lyre on stellar day for Godolphin

Mike Hedge

A brilliant turn of foot, an undeniable will to win and a pedigree that could take her anywhere all came together to earn G1 Blue Diamond Stakes victory for Lyre at Caulfield on Saturday, 23 February.

Lyre, a daughter of Darley’s ever-reliable stallion Lonhro, also benefitted from a faultless ride and a similarly well-executed training program to give Godolphin the second leg of a G1 Caulfield double.

On a day when Godolphin landed three Stakes winners for the third consecutive Saturday, Alizee won the G1 Futurity Stakes and Avilius continued his march through the ranks with victory in the G2 Peter Young Stakes.

In a race that called for patience, winning rider Luke Currie proved the master, coaxing a late surge from Lyre that carried her to a half-length victory over Lankan Star with a further long neck to Free Of Debt in third place.

The Godolphin filly Athiri, another daughter of Lonhro finished fourth.

Lyre, a three-quarter sister to the dual G1 winner and Darley stallion Impending gave Godolphin it’s eighth Australian G1 win for the season and provided trainer Anthony Freedman with his first by a runner in the royal blue silks.

The Blue Diamond was Lyre’s fourth start and her third win, with Freedman suggesting she should have a perfect record.

“She's obviously a quality filly and arguably she should be unbeaten," Freedman said.

"She's kept improving with each run. They ran a fairly good time and she was the strongest at the finish."

Currie was having his first ride on the filly but proved the perfect partner.

"I wanted to be smooth wherever she was and I thought it'd be better to come out into the clear with a bit of room,” he said.

“She did the rest.”

An outstanding day was completed by Avilius who claimed his seventh Australian victory, setting the scene of an eight when he runs in the G1 Australian Cup at Flemington on Saturday, 9 March.

Trainer James Cummings will then re-assess the former Andre Fabre-trained runner who he said may well be turned out after the Flemington race.

“He’s a horse that is certainly worth looking after, so I’m attracted to a light autumn campaign,” he said.

“He has an aura about him, he’s such an intelligent horse with so much kindness.

“All he wants to do is give.”

Avilius received a perfect run, camped behind the leaders from the jump and then produced with perfect timing entering the home straight before cruising to a 1-1/2 length defeat of Trap For Fools with Ace High third.