By Brad Gray
At Rosehill Gardens
It didn’t quite go to plan but in overcoming adversity, Chris Waller’s opinion of Fiesta has risen further.
The two-year-old filly, who raced in blinkers for the first time, wanted to get the Widden Stakes over and done with in the middle stages before Kerrin McEvoy had to weave a passage after copping a whack in the straight.
Fiesta's brave Widden win
“It was a good effort to see her win after a bit of a scrimmage. The horse to her outside of her wasn’t going anywhere but fortunately the gap opened on the inside and Kerrin saw it,” said Waller.
“It is good to see a young horse under pressure still quicken after copping a bump in the race. It might look easy watching at home but I can tell you those midrace clashes at high speeds would be like being hit with a pretty solid object.”
The daughter of I Am Invincible, who is raced by Star Thoroughbreds, will now tackle the G2 Sweet Embrace Stakes (1200m) with Waller keen to keep her against her own sex for as long as he can.
Fiesta, who has always been the work partner of Performer, ran considerably quicker time than her stablemate in the Canonbury but the race shapes were completely different. Punters’ Intel reveals that Performer ran his last 600m in a slippery 33.05s with Fiesta 34.55s. It goes to show how slow they went in the early to middle stages of the Canonbury.
McEvoy, who rode both on his way to an early treble, said he couldn’t split Performer and Fiesta as Golden Slipper prospects given the different ways the two races were run but he was quick to heap praise on Fiesta.
“It was a pretty good win. There was a bit of hustle and bustle involved and she overraced a bit with the blinkers on so I was a bit concerned at the 500m that I might have used up a bit of gas. After a bit of a bump and having to change course she didn’t lose focus. She was the winner as soon as I got that gap,” McEvoy said.
“If I got beat I still would have been happy with the run because of the energy she used early. It was full of merit.”
Fiesta firmed from $51 into $26 with TAB for the Golden Slipper.