Waterhouse Speaks Fondly
Sunday, October 4, 2015
While the Epsom win of Winx made her a popular first choice as Australia best older female, trainer Gai Waterhouse declared another of Saturday’s Randwick Group 1 winners as the best filly. Speak Fondly, a well-named Northern Meteor filly out of Blab, bred and owned by Gooree Stud, survived by a short-half-head in a driving finish to the Flight Stakes (1600m). Gai Waterhouse declared Speak Fondly the benchmark filly in Australia after she gave the trainer a record eighth Flight Stakes victory at Randwick. “You can’t take anything away from her, she’s the best three-year-old filly in Australia,” Waterhouse said. But the stable won’t be looking to enhance her reputation this spring. “She’ll go for a spell now and come back for the autumn, and she’ll win the Coolmore Classic.” Speak Fondly appeared to be in trouble at the 300m when under siege from a number of rivals. Jockey Tommy Berry admitted he thought his chances were slim at the 200m but Speak Fondly rallied to hold off Honesta who had a short-half head to spare over Perignon in third place. “I was on a tough filly, the best filly, the classiest filly in the race and that’s what won it,” Berry said. “She didn’t run the mile out at all, I don’t think. The last 200 (metres) she was a beaten horse but she was just too tough.” Speak Fondly’s win also gave Waterhouse her eighth Flight Stakes victory, breaking a record previously held by her father TJ Smith.