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Three-year-olds Heresy and Honeycreeper provide Royal Randwick G3 double

Dave Murray

Improving three-year-old filly Honeycreeper added more Black Type to her record with a brilliant win in the G3 Adrian Knox Stakes over 2,000m at Royal Randwick in Sydney on Saturday, 2 April.

The daughter of Teofilo and Painted Firetail also burst into ATC Australian Oaks contention when she easily beat Charity Spirit and Mamounia in the traditional Oaks lead-up.

Although Honeycreeper had slightly disappointed Godolphin Australia's Head Trainer James Cummings when only third in the Listed Tasmanian Oaks at Launceston on 20 February, she arrived in Sydney in good order and Cummings believed she would run a strong race in the Adrian Knox.

“She’s a daughter of Teofilo who we thought would stay nicely,” Cummings said.

“We waited for the Adrian Knox and she had to carry a little bit of weight being Stakes-placed, but she got up in a very dominant fashion and has to be an Oaks contender on the back of that. We’ve got  a few days to make sure we are happy with her."

Jockey Hugh Bowman said Honeycreeper always travelled well in the heavy going and put herself into the race after settling well back in the field.    

“She won well, she was in a beautiful rhythm,” Bowman said. 

“I thought the pace wasn’t frantic but it was genuine, particularly for this type of ground, it was very testing."

“She seemed to travel through it very well and they were starting to peel off the fence."

“I had a lap full of horse and I just let her increase within herself and found myself on the back of the leading bunch, and she did the rest.”

The winner’s stablemate Mamounia ran on well to finish third, albeit 6.25 lengths behind Honeycreeper. 

“Excellent, she’s now Stakes-placed,” Cummings said. “She may be a nice filly for Adelaide, we’ll wait and see.”

Cummings was back in the winners’ stall late in the day when Street Boss filly Heresy was at the front of a rare first four for Godolphin in the G3 PJ Bell Stakes over 1,200m.

Nash Rawiller angled to the extreme outside in the home straight and the three-year-old raced past stablemates Zapateo (Brazen Beau), Arcaded (Heresy) and Larkspur Run (Shamardal) to record her second win with four placings from 10 starts.

“She had been going so well this of preparation (fifth and fourth) when she didn’t have the best of luck,” Cummings said.

“We elected to take the small fish and waited for the PJ Bell and she trained beautifully between then and now.”

Cummings, who also prepared Alegron (G1 Australian Derby) and Paulele (G1 TJ Smith Stakes) to finish third in respective feature races on the day, said Heresy was “quite likely to go to Adelaide” while he had “lots of options” with her stablemates.