After leading the 1600m Group 2 feature worth $300,000 before the turn, Phillip Stokes' fancied Climbing Star overtook her on the inside coming onto the straight and it could've been all over.
But Kelly summoned her three-year-old to fight back, and what a fightback it was after trailing by three-quarters of a length at the 100m mark.
2022 Fillies Classic Replay
Kelly's judgement to stay a little wide in Heavy 8 conditions went a long way to helping her prevail for Daryl Cannon, the trainer saying the way she summed up the surface was spot-on.
“That was the plan to roll off the fence. Alana walked the track and said 2-3 off the fence is probably a good spot to be,” Cannon told Racing.com.
“I saw her get there just before the turn.
“She's got a good repoire with the horse and she's going to be a jockey with a future.”
Kelly thought she might have made her move a bit too early, but also backed her filly to peg back the deficit late on the straight.
“Obviously the track is playing a bit difficult today, and we're all trying to ride the best we can and it paid off,” she said.
“I thought I made a blue coming out so early. I was looking for that bit of better ground off the corner.
“I knew she (Climbing Star) had such a great turn of foot that she actually put half a length on me.
“But she's just so competitive that she pinned her back before the line.
“That's what you work for. To do it for a little team like the Cannons, it's absolutely phenomenal.”