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“Plan B” works a treat as Colette blossoms again in Empire Rose


Colette rounded off a remarkable October with a sensational victory in the Empire Rose Stakes, the second G1 success of her career, as Godolphin runners enjoyed an excellent Derby Day at Flemington on Saturday.

A foot abscess forced Colette to miss the G1 Turnbull Stakes at the start of the month, with the ailment also ruling her out of contention for the G1 Caulfield Cup.

Rerouted to the G2 Tristarc Stakes at Caulfield in the middle of October, Colette revelled on the soft ground for a dominant win before storming home on a quicker surface over the weekend.

She could now back up at Flemington in this Saturday’s G1 LKS Mackinnon Stakes, with Cascadian also in the frame for the same race after being narrowly denied in the G1 Cantala Stakes for a third successive year.

Willowy is on course to make a swift Flemington turnaround as well in Thursday’s G1 VRC Oaks following an impressive win in the G2 Wakeful Stakes. The Kermadec filly has enjoyed a meteoric rise over the past three weeks, having lost her maiden tag at Newcastle on Tuesday, 12 October.

In the G1 VRC Derby itself, Alegron produced a brave effort in defeat as he was caught close home by Hitotsu.

Godolphin shared the leading owner title at Keeneland’s Fall Meet thanks to the victory of Famed, a half-sister to Essential Quality, in the final race of the meeting on Saturday.

Essential Quality himself will be in action at Del Mar this week as he bids to become the first horse to win the Belmont Stakes, Travers Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Classic in the same season.

Last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile hero has already established himself as the best three-year-old in North America and success in Saturday’s showpiece would put him firmly in contention for Horse of the Year honours at the Eclipse Awards.

Six further Godolphin contenders for the Breeders’ Cup have already travelled to Del Mar from Newmarket, including Modern Games and Albahr, who both line up in Friday’s G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.

On Saturday, Space Blues and Master Of The Seas run in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Mile, while Walton Street and Yibir both go in search of more big-race success in North America this year in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Turf.