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Star filly Alizee makes brilliant return to racing at Randwick

Mike Hedge

An autumn campaign designed to make amends for a lost spring awaits Godolphin’s star filly Alizee following her majestic return to racing in Saturday’s Listed Christmas Classic at Randwick.

In her first start since winning the G1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes last April, Alizee carried her topweight of 60.5kg to a comprehensive victory that gave trainer James Cummings the confidence to begin planning a campaign that could embrace the world’s richest mile race.

Cummings said he wanted to see how she returned before revealing autumn goals, but the A$5 million All Star Mile at Flemington in March is among the options.

"She's a miler and a weight-for-age winner," he said.

"We will sit down as a team in the next week and discuss which horses are going where.

"The A plan was for her to win about four G1 races in the spring, but that was shot to pieces before she even ran.

The Expressway Stakes over the same 1200m trip as Saturday’s race is Alizee’s next likely target with the filly likely to have a short rest before stepping into her main autumn campaign.

On a day when the Australian stable also celebrated a one-two with Manicure and Demerara in the Listed Nudgee Stakes in Brisbane and the ungraded victories of Tally and Deprive, Alizee stood out as the national highlight.

The daughter of Sepoy was ridden on Saturday by Hugh Bowman who, thanks to his long association with Winx, knows better than most what constitutes a good filly. 

And he described Alizee as something special.

"It felt as impressive as it looked," Bowman said.

"Having settled where she was comfortable, I had to make a decision mid-race. I would have just loved to sit back but I had to get a bit closer.

"That is where you saw her class.

"It would have looked good to the eye from the 300 metres, but for me the ability to tack on and make up four lengths with ease and then be able to sprint off that was the best thing. That was the telling point."

Having given the leaders a substantial start from the 400m, Alizee went on to win by 1-1/2 lengths from Husson Eagle with Fell Swoop third.

Equally satisfying for the stable was the victory of stable favourite Tally who led throughout to win the Magic Millions Shootout at Doomben.

Manicure won the Nudgee from stablemate Demerara with a solid, on pace performance to claim her first Stakes success.