Mar 16, 2017
Having been beaten less than two lengths in the Group 3 Frances Tressady Stakes at her previous outing, Quilate looked nicely placed in a BM70 event at Sandown on Wednesday.
Little wonder that she was a well supported favourite in the 1400m contest - and she rewarded her supporters with a dominant victory, her third success from just 12 starts.
Beautifully ridden by stable apprentice Beau Mertens, Quilate jumped fast but was eased back to midfield with the plan having always been to allow her to find her feet.
"She drew inside gates at her last two starts and we had to ride her on pace to track bias," Michael Kent said, "and she just isn't at her best ridden that way."
"She is so much better ridden quietly, she can really quicken when ridden that way and she showed that today."
Making her run from the 300m, Quilate joined leader Ajuda at the 100m and raced clear to win by a soft 1 1/4 lengths.
"She has got a really good turn of foot," Kent said, adding that Sandown - where Quilate enjoyed her previous success in May last year - suits the lightly raced four-year-old.
"You can get back here and you just know they will spread, a run usually appears."
Saturday class is next on the agenda for Quilate whilst the Group 2 Queen Of The South Stakes at Morphettville on May 6 is her main aim for the preparation.
Always thinking highly of Quilate, Kent recommended to her owners that she have a long spell, skipping the spring in order to mature and strengthen.
Whilst Beau had ridden Quilate at the stables, it was his first ride on her on race day and he was impressed - "the plan was to ride her really cold, ease out and run them down but she was that quick out of the gates I was happy to sit where we were and she travelled really nicely for me."
"Once we were in the straight she made my job easy, I didn't need the stick and she found the line nicely."
A mare who is at her happiest ridden out hands and heels, Quilate has always shown an aversion to the whip - her breaker Scott Bredden recalling that even in the early days she didn't like the stick - "when riding her I had to hide it from her!" he said.
A mare who has outperformed both of her parents - neither her sire Bramshaw or her dam Miss Peligrosa making it to the track - Quilate is bred along similar lines (a 2 X 5 cross of her own fifth dam Cotehele House) to the stable's C.S Hayes Stakes winner Fair Trade, son of Bramshaw's better known half-brother Danewin.
The race was a highlight for Quilate's very proud breeders and part owners Kristen Manning and Vin Lowe who also co-bred and part own the third placed Ajuda who made the running.
"At one stage they were first and second which is a moment I will always treasure," Manning said, adding that "it was exciting enough to have two home-breds in the same race but to have them both run so well was amazing!"
Quilate is raced by Manning and Lowe with Steve Dainton (who cheers on from Singapore), Cheryl Milton, Judy & Robert Conway (whose share was an anniversary present from their children), Robert & Ben Gordon, Karin McNab, Lynette Humble, Maree Pittaway, Amanda Nemaric, Calindy Conway, Dianne & Max Manning, the Harry Fyn Syndicate (Jim Bhujoharry and Robert Fynmore) and the Racing Australia 3 Syndicate (manager Kristen Manning).