On day two of The Championships at Royal Randwick, Yarradale Stud's beautifully bred stallion Scandal Keeper (Danzig-Canny Miss, by Marscay) added a Group race success when 4YO Australian-bred mare Quilista (Scandal Keeper-Brocky's Ace, by Surtee) left her rivals languishing in her wake when posting a strong front-running win in the $300,000 Gr2 Sapphire Stakes (1200m) for 3YO+ fillies & mares, defeating Ravi & White Moss. This was the third stakes win for the former West Australian galloper Quilista who improved her record to 8 wins (including the Gr3 Birthday Card Stakes & Listed Rangeview Stud Classic) and 7 placings (including the Listed WATC Raconteur Stakes) from 19 starts for $562,900 in earnings. Quilista was a $10,000 purchase at the 2015 magic Millions Perth Yearling Sale from the draft of Korilya Stud.
Trainer Tim Martin is hoping that talented mare Heaven's Above can atone for unlucky performance in last year's Myer Classic in the Group 1 fillies and mares feature at Flemington tomorrow. "She should have won, it's simple," Martin told racenet. "She's a horse that can strike some trouble because she gets back in her races and I've no doubt if she'd found a clear path they wouldn't have held her out." Heavens Above (Street Cry-Reggie, by Germano) has been in mixed form this campaign but she showed just how much class she possesses when landing the Gr1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) in Sydney in the autumn. The 6YO is coming off a fast-finishing 6th behind the progressive White Moss in the Gr3 Nivison (1200m) two weeks ago, and Martin believes she is ready to strike winning form again on Saturday. "Her run in the Nivison was a beauty," Martin said. "She won the Coolmore second-up in the autumn, so I'm not worried about her going from 1200 to the mile. It's within her reach and she's going as well now as she was last year."
At Royal Randwick in Sydney, Gr1-winning & 4-time Gr1-placed Vinery Stud stallion Mossman (Success Express-Lichen Lady, by Twig Moss) added a Group race success when 4YO grey mare White Moss (Mossman-Pay My Bail, by Justice Prevails) showed a sparkling turn of foot to claim her maiden stakes win in the $150,000 Gr3 Nivison (1200m) for 4YO+ mares, defeating Zestful & Kinshachi. A homebred for the Esplin family, White Moss is out of the Gr2 Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes & Gr3 Lion Red Plate winning New Zealand mare Pay My Bail and is a half-sister to Listed ATC Festival Stakes winner White Sage. Her impressive record now reads 5 wins and 1 placing from 8 starts for $213,120 in earnings. Trainer Jason Coyle said he will now sit down and find a suitable race over the Melbourne spring carnival for White Moss but admitted the best of her will not be seen until next year. "We cuddled her early in her career because she's not an overly big mare and now she's really rewarding our patience," Coyle told Sky Racing. "Through the line she's always been strong so I'm hopeful she will run a mile but you never really know until you ask them to try." Coyle added: "In the autumn there's races like the Coolmore [Gr1] but we'll see how we go. Ultimately the long-term goal is to take her to Queensland to try to get that elusive Group 1 - the Tatts Tiara."