The very same Group 1 Golden Slipper prospects that suffered a blow for Godolphin on Saturday morning took on new hope the same afternoon when Tenley raced into calculations for the A$3.5m race by winning the Group 2 Reisling Stakes at Randwick. Already a winner of her first two starts, Tenley stepped up to Stakes class for the first time and coped spectacularly well, cruising to the front at the 100m and winning easily. Tenley will now go to the Golden Slipper on Saturday 23 March as one of the main chances, along with her stablemate Microphone. While both have outstanding prospects, the long time favourite for the race, Tassort, won’t be an acceptor after trainer James Cummings announced a slight injury to the colt had left him with insufficient time to prepare him adequately.
But judged on the improvement she has shown with each start, Tenley is a worthy replacement. Ridden quietly by James McDonald, the filly dominated the Reisling, leaving her exciting stablemate Exhilarates in her wake in second place. McDonald could barely contain himself after the win. “She has a great constitution, she absorbs pressure and she has a great turn of foot,” McDonald said. “That was a fantastic win.” Cummings offered high praise for both his fillies. “Tenley has just improved out of sight like you would not believe,” Cummings said. “Since she has come to the stable she has just been flying. She hasn’t let us down and improved and improved.
“She is a pretty serious filly and Exhilarates was very, very good off a break. “Having not raced since January, it is just perfect for her.” Later in the day Godolphin unearthed a likely Thousand Guineas prospect for next spring when La Tene landed the Group 2 VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes at Flemington. In a performance that gave the Australian operation its 18th 2yo victory of the season, La Tene needed all of the 1400m of the Sires’ to score by a short neck. “She was placed on her first three starts,” Melbourne assistant trainer Kate Grimwade said. “We didn’t think she was going to be Group quality but she has kept on improving, so the sky’s the limit.”
As well as the juveniles ran, the performance of the day among the Godolphin team was arguably that of Osborne Bulls to finish second in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap at Flemington. While the effort didn’t earn him success, neither did it lose him any admirers as he came from an impossible position with 400m to run to go down by a diminishing three-quarters of a length to Sunlight. Buried in a ruck among the 23 runners and at the back of the field at the 600m, Osborne Bulls only obtained clear running late in the race, but he’d given away so much ground that even his closing 800m in 42.94 seconds couldn’t carry him past the winner. The son of Street Cry is now likely to return to Sydney for the remainder of the autumn.