Kermadec's Willowy Dominant in Wakeful Stakes

Mark Smith - Saturday October 30

Fresh off a maiden win at Newcastle on October 12, the royally-bred Kermadec filly Willowy made a seamless transition to stakes company with a barnstorming victory in Saturday’s Group II Zed Run Wakeful Stakes (2000m) at Flemington.

Willowy powers home (image Grant Courtney)

With Jye McNeil in the saddle, Willowy still had plenty to do at the 100m as the Sebring filly Daisies looked set to give James McDonald the first three races.

Willowy motored over the final 100m to defeat Daises by a half-length with the No Nay Never filly Douceur three-quarter of a length back in third.

“She was in a position 600 (metres) from home where I was really going to have to get to work and get her motivated,” McNeil said.

“It wasn’t until we got to the outside, swapped legs, and we saw that fantastic finish. I like her style."

Winning trained James Cummings said he is warming to starting the daughter of Kermadec in the Oaks on Thursday.

“She’s a gorgeous filly. She’s certainly coming along in leaps and bounds in a short amount of time,” Cumnmings said.

“Quite typical of the Kermadec breed. You can get a spring three-year-old, and we thought she was certainly improving rapidly enough to tackle the Wakeful.

“She looks like a very promising stayer and we look like we’re in business. 

“She’s improving rapidly and the guys have done a great job to nurse her along and have her settled in quickly in Melbourne.

“She’s nominated for the Oaks. It is an important conversation for us to have.

“That was a nice gallop for her this afternoon. She’s got the rising stayer look all over her and a very promising filly.

“We mucked around with the gear a little bit. The guys had her cherry ripe, and she’s managed to make it through with a scrape on her leg after the windy weather we’ve had in Melbourne.

“Thankfully, she’s arrived in good order and capable of putting them away.”

”The winner of the Metropolitan was by Kermadec. I think that (2500m) will be alright. She’s got a big pedigree on her dam side.”

Willowy (image Grant Courtney)

Willowy is the final foal of the treasured matron Dextrous and becomes her fourth stakes-winner.

The winner of the Group II MRC Sandown Guineas, Dextrous is the dam of Group 1 AJC Champagne Stakes winner Skilled (Commands), dual Group II winner and Golden Slipper runner-up Sidestep (Exceed And Excel), and Group II ATC Theo Marks winner Ambidexter (Commands), as well as the Group III-placed Flexible (Halloed Crown) who was fourth in the Group 1 ATC Oaks.   

It was by luck that Dextrous visited Kermadec. She was covered earlier that season by the fertility challenged The Last Lion (IRE).

Willowy becomes the second stakes-winner for Kermadec after the triple Group 1 winner Montefilia.

The son of Teofilo stands at Darley Stud for a fee of $11,000.


Race Result - Wakeful Stakes Gr2 2000m

Flemington Track: Good(4) Time: 2:04.03
- 3f Kermadec (NZ) x Dextrous (AUS) (Quest For Fame (GB))
Tnr: James Cummings Rdr: Jye McNeil 55
- 3f Sebring (AUS) x Tigress Lily (AUS) (Snitzel (AUS))
Tnr: M Price & M Kent Jnr Rdr: J B Mc Donald 57
- 3f No Nay Never (USA) x Danalicious (AUS) (Zabeel (NZ))
Tnr: Patrick Payne Rdr: M J Dee 55
- 3f Snitzel (AUS) x Rising Romance (NZ) (Ekraar (USA))
Tnr: M, W & J Hawkes Rdr: Damien Thornton 58
Barb Raider
- 3f Rebel Raider (AUS) x Graebarb (AUS) (Host (CHI))
Tnr: Jerome Hunter Rdr: Craig Williams 55
Tiz My Bay
- 3f Cable Bay (IRE) x Tiz My View (AUS) (Snitzel (AUS))
Tnr: R Griffiths & M De Kock Rdr: D Yendall 55
- 3f Animal Kingdom (USA) x Hold To Ransom (USA) (Red Ransom (USA))
Tnr: James Cummings Rdr: Fred W Kersley 55
El Patroness
- 3f Shamus Award (AUS) x Sure You Can (NZ) (O'Reilly (NZ))
Tnr: D T O'Brien Rdr: B Prebble 56
Native Girl
- 3f Tivaci (AUS) x Knocknacrea (GB) (Green Desert (USA))
Tnr: Charlotte Littlefield Rdr: L Currie 55
Audrey Girl
- 3f Fastnet Rock (AUS) x Dessau (GER) (Soldier Hollow (GB))
Tnr: T Busuttin & N Young Rdr: D Moor 55
Kapalua Sunset
- 3f Tavistock (NZ) x Full Of Spirit (AUS) (Flying Spur (AUS))
Tnr: D T O'Brien Rdr: D Oliver 55
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