Exotic Ruby’s supreme fitness came to the fore for her to triumph on the line in the $175,000 Hawkesbury Crown (1300m).
Her condition was why trainer Bjorn Baker always believed she’d perform in the Heavy 9 conditions.
Particularly when her last start was a fighting third in the $130,000 Catanach’s Handicap (1200m) at Randwick on a Heavy 8 on April 16 – her first run of this preparation.
“She’s going better than ever. Her first-up run I was very confident – she was 30-1 in that race and she went very well,” Baker told Sky Racing.
“Her work has been good since, and she’s rock-hard fit.
“Fitness counts for a lot at the moment. She’s got a great pedigree.
“Oh gee, I can’t wait for her foals.”
Despite prevailing over Pippali (for Jason Coyle) and Fashchanel (John O’Shea) by less than half a length, winning jockey Rachel King knew her six-year-old mare’s good start was crucial.
“She flew out the gates. She did that first-up but she drew a bit awkward (barrier 10),” she said.
“She took a good stride forward today and got into a good rhythm on that track, and I was able to keep momentum up.
“That definitely helped in the long run.
“I was confident she was going to keep toughing it out. She is very tough and when one gets to her I know she’ll fight.
“I knew she was rock-hard fit and ready to run the best race.”