Orange’s Alison Smith watched on with joy on Monday afternoon as her up-and-coming filly Supreme Gem broke through to score her maiden victory in the Programmed Property Services Maiden Handicap (1280 metres), the first of Racing Orange’s Christmas at Towac meeting.
The three-year-old had enjoyed a promising start to her career, not finishing further back than fourth in her first three starts, and she continued that progress with Monday’s gutsy win, which came by less than half-a-length at $3.80 odds.
This victory was a touch sweeter than most too, Smith said, considering she also trained the filly’s mother in Sapphire Princess. She’s also combined with owner Brett Davis with both runners.
“It is exciting (to have had the dam and now the foal),” Smith said.
“Her mother went alright and she’s got her mother’s heart this one.
“It’s good for Brett too, he stuck with me. I’ve got a bit of an opinion of this one, I think she goes alright, hopefully she can do a bit more for us.”
Although former Orange trainer Gary Portelli’s Cortesta, which eventually finished fourth, was the favourite at $3, Supreme Gem was always well-backed and considered a huge threat from barrier two.
She proved why after jumping well and settling mid-field by the 600-mark, before hoop Anthony Cavallo steered her two wide into the straight.
He pushed the filly toward the head the field and, despite her looking as she was lagging a touch at the 100-mark, urged her ahead of Malcolm Johnston’s Scarpa ($6.50) with Wanda Ings’ $41 outsider Supreme Boss came in third.
“She found her way nicely, and I was quietly confident coming in,” Smith said.
Smith labelled last-start winner Arctic Warrior “fit and fresh” at that point, and said “it’d be lovely” to pick up an early double, but it wasn’t to be as Dean Mirfin’s Worldly Pleasure ($3.70) picked up a second win from as many starts at Orange.
The Bathurst mare won in her first run at Towac Park on November 9, actually beating out Supreme Gem that day, and backed that up with a comfortable victory in Monday’s Kitchens and Cabinets Country Class 2 Plate (1000 metres).
Mirfin admitted he’d hoped for a wet track, but was stoked to see his mare salute as she dropped back from 1400 metres despite Towac Park being rated a good 3.
“That was pretty good, she didn’t get the wet track but she won anyway so that’s great,” Mirfin said.