Hai Lil will be set for a Group 1 spring campaign on the strength of her victory in the Bruce Gadsden Hcp (1200m) at Flemington.
The Greta West Stud bred filly carried the steadier of 60kg to claim a narrow victory at headquarters on Saturday. It boosted her career card to 6 wins in 11 starts for $212,000 in prizemoney.
“I think she’s a Group 1 mare, I really do,” winning jockey Michael Rodd claimed. “I said that to the owners when she won first-up at Moonee Valley. She just shouldn’t have won from the position she was in that day.”
Rodd told trainer Allan Browell a race like the G1 Myer Classic (1600m) would be a suitable target at the Melbourne Cup carnival. “Al reckoned today wasn’t the right race for her,” Rodd explained. “But I said good horses can surprise you and that’s what she did.”
Hai Lil (3f Churchill Downs – Smooth As Silk by Barathea) produced a brilliant finish to defeat North Atlantic Ice (Lonhro) and About Square (Refuse To Bend) in a busy finish down the straight-six.
Greta West studmaster Laurie McCarthy purchased her dam Smooth As Silk from Widden Stud and sold Hai Lil for $60,000 at the 2011 Inglis Melbourne Premier yearling sale. Browell races the filly with his wife Val and stable clients Kate Glass and Horrie West.
Smooth As Silk has an unraced 2yo filly by Greta West sire Keep The Faith with Caulfield trainer Luke Oliver. She has been named Grand Faith.
– Karl Patterson