The money came for Xtravagant Star in the $2 million Inglis Millennium (1100m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday afternoon, and the money was spot on, as the filly raced away to a convincing win.
Trained in South Australia by Tony & Calvin McEvoy, the two-year-old daughter of Xtravagant was heavily backed, firming from $13 into $7 on the back of a narrow maiden win at Geelong on debut.
The filly led throughout to win a trial at Randwick over 734m on January 24, which appeared to tip her over perfectly for the restricted sales race.
Having landed in a beautiful spot behind the leaders, jockey Chad Schofield made a line of three at the 300m, before racing away her rivals at the 100m mark.
Race favourite Paris Dior flashed late to grab second some two lengths away, while the unbeaten Sejardan sustained a wide run to stick on gamely for third.
Schofield has only recently returned to Sydney's riding ranks, after a long stint in Hong Kong.
“It was very painless, really,” the winning jockey told Sky Racing.
“She was first to leave the machines. Pre-race I thought we may have to drop her in as there was a bit of speed on our inside but she was way too fast and cleared them easily.
“I had a perfect run with cover throughout, Gai's horse led and gave me a lovely cart into it while Sweet Ride held the rail so she travelled very well with the cover.
“I hit the front a long way from home so for a Melbourne two-year-old filly it was a good effort, she was strong to the line.
“It's nice to win a feature race like this and hopefully it can help me build momentum going forward.”
Xtravagant Star was purchased for $150,000 by Seymour Bloodstock as a yearling the 2021 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sales.
The filly repaid her owners straight away, as she secured her second win in as many starts, amassing over $1.1 million in prizemoney already.
“She always showed us a bit of talent and we went to that race at Geelong pretty confident.,” co-trainer Tony McEvoy said.
“She had a fight to win it and showed she's got speed and she was tough.
“It's her first trip away from home and the way she has handled herself and accepted everything, magnificent. It's a big thrill.”
A decision is yet to be made as to which race she will target – the Golden Slipper, or the Blue Diamond, however her trainer says it is unlikely that she will go to both.
“We've got some beautiful decisions to make,” he said.
“We can go to the Diamond in three weeks, or we can just concentrate on the Slipper – it's a bit hard to do both I think.
“I think we just enjoy today and make some decisions in a few days.
“She has come a little bit out of left field. At home she's solid but she's not a ‘wow' sort of horse and sometimes they're the best but I am liking her more and more.”
Xtravagant Star is now an $8 chance in both the Blue Diamond and the Golden Slipper.