Bart Cummings’ star filly Norzita will head towards the iconic Doncaster Mile next start after her gritty win in the 2013 Vinery Stud Stakes on Golden Slipper Day at Rosehill Gardens this weekend.
The talented daughter of Thorn Park scored her first Group 1 success in Sydney last October taking out the Flight Stakes over the Randwick mile and will return to that track and distance for the $2 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) on April 20 after taking care of business in the Vinery.
Formerly registered as the Storm Queen Stakes, the $400,000 Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) was a thrilling two horse-battle to the line with Norzita ($3 favourite) moving up late to challenge the dominant leader Longport from the stables of John Thompson who gave it her all right up until the final stride.
Having settled into fourth early behind pacesetter She’s A Girl Casino Prince filly Longport, second to Norzita in last season’s Flight Stakes, rolled along nicely throughout the run before hitting the front on the straight.
Norzita meanwhile was worse than mid-field early before top jockey Hugh Bowman, also aboard for her Flight Stakes triumph, moved up on the rails trying to improve her spot out wide on the half-way mark.
She then came after Longport, stretching her neck out and turned it into a thrilling fight for the finish over the final 200 metres.
While many expected Norzita to do it easier Longport wouldn’t give up and was gallant in defeat showing plenty of fight with the blinkers back on, the punters’ pick getting the job done in the end by half a length.
New Zealand Derby winner Habibi meanwhile finished off the Vinery Stud Stakes trifecta in a nice run for third in her Australian debut heading towards the $550,000 Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) at Royal Randwick on Doncaster Day.
Norzita may have handled the 2000m with ease today in what looked to be an ace Oaks trial, co-trainer James Cummings confirmed they were bypassing the Oaks and instead dropping her back to the 1600m for the Doncaster.
“She had to do it the tough way today,” he said.
“But she’s one of the toughest fillies I’ve ever had anything to do with.
“We’ll take that. That was dominant enough for us.
“I’m sure Bart (Cummings) will be tickled pink.
“We’ll be switching back to the 1600 metres now and I’m sure she’ll be extremely effective.”
See below for the complete 2013 Vinery Stud Stakes (Storm Queen Stakes) results.
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2013 Vinery Stud Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Rosehill Race 4 – 06/04/2013
|1||3||NORZITA (NZ)||Bart Cummings||Hugh Bowman||–||7||56kg||$3F|
|2||5||LONGPORT||John P Thompson||Christian Reith||0.4L||8||56kg||$26|
|3||4||HABIBI (NZ)||Donna Logan||Vinnie Colgan||3.2L||3||56kg||$4.20|
|4||13||GONDOKORO (NZ)||Pat Carey||Rhys McLeod||5.9L||2||56kg||$51|
|5||2||DEAR DEMI||Clarry Conners||Jim Cassidy||6L||14||56kg||$6|
|6||1||DRIEFONTEIN||Gai Waterhouse||Nash Rawiller||6.4L||10||56kg||$12|
|7||9||SUMMERBLISS||Michael Kent||Craig Williams||7.1L||9||56kg||$16|
|8||7||YOU’RE SO GOOD (NZ)||Nigel Blackiston||Vlad Duric||7.2L||11||56kg||$10|
|9||11||CAMPANIA||Garry Frazer||Tommy Berry||7.5L||4||56kg||$201|
|10||15||PURPLE MUSE (NZ)||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||10.4L||1||56kg||$51|
|11||6||ALZORA||David Hayes||James McDonald||10.9L||5||56kg||$18|
|12||14||SHE’S A GIRL||Steve Englebrecht||Nathan Berry||11.7L||12||56kg||$151|
|13||8||CAMEO||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||11.8L||6||56kg||$41|
|14||12||HOYBELL||Chris Waller||Dwayne Dunn||15.8L||13||56kg||$91|
|–||10||ROYAL DESCENT||Chris Waller||Corey Brown||–||0||–||–|