Goulburn filly See You Soon has scored an upset win in the opening race at Randwick to all but book herself a shot at a $1 million race next month.
Punters had narrowed down Saturday’s Kirkham Plate (1000m) to two chances, the Ciraon Maher and David Eustace-trained Anders and Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Close To Me but neither raised the hopes of their backers.
It was See You Soon ($8), prepared by French-born trainer Jean Dubois and ridden by South African-born jockey Jean Van Overmeire, who stamped her class, overpowering Dame Giselle ($10) by a short neck with Endorse ($6.50) another 2-14/ lengths away.
The win was Van Overmeire’s first in town since a run of injuries halted his momentum.
He broke his hand at the start of the year and shortly after returning to the saddle, he was kicked by a horse, breaking his leg and ankle.
“This is my first Saturday winner in the city for about five months,” Van Overmeire said.
“I was out with injury for more than four months.”
See You Soon is by French stallion Siyouni, the same sire as Dubois’ 2018 Todman Stakes winner Aylmerton, and bred to southern-hemisphere time.
Van Overmeire said he went into the race with confidence after riding the filly in a barrier trial earlier this week.
“On Tuesday, Jean told me he would like to run See You Soon (today) so don’t do too much on her,” Van Overmeire said.
“The trial was more about educating her and I felt I had a lot of horse underneath me.
“I was quietly confident coming into this race.
“As soon as I pulled her out into clear air, she accelerated quite nicely but it wasn’t until I passed a couple with 150 metres to go when she really let go.”
Dubois confirmed See You Soon would head to the $1 million Golden Gift (1100m) at Rosehill in two weeks provided she pulled up well.
Peter Snowden confirmed the placegetters and fifth-placed Close To Me would head in the same direction.
“Those three definitely go there in a fortnight if they pull up well,” Snowden said.
“Close To Me had only had one trial and will take the most improvement.”