Baccarat Baby a Class Above in Sunshine Coast Guineas

Mark Smith - Saturday June 29

Despite racing three wide the trip, Baccarat Baby had her supporters full of confidence when she cruised to the lead under a stranglehold from Michael Hellyer in Saturday's Group III Sunshine Coast Guineas (1600m) and when the reins were let out a notch the daughter of Casino Prince put the race to bed in a matter of strides.

When the judge called a halt, Baccarat Baby defeated the heavily-backed favourite Junipal (Reset) by two and a half lengths with a short-neck back to Zavance (Mossman) in third.

One of the most honest three-year-old's around, the David Vandyke trained filly came into the race just seven days after beating just four of the 18 runners home in the Group 1 Tatt's Tiara at Eagle Farm.

She had a torrid run that day and Vandyke all but had her on the float for a well-deserved spell but he could not believe how well she had pulled up.

"I'll tell you what I've had better horses, but she's as tough as any, she's been in work since November and tops it off with a Group three at home on a heavy ten," Vandyke marvelled.

"At the five hundred I thought she can't win hopefully she can run third and hopefully pull up alright.

"Last Sunday I told the owners she's going straight to the paddock, but I got there Monday and she said to me I'm not done with yet so let's go again.

"She's had such a huge preparation won a Group race, won a listed race, second in a couple of Group races, couldn't have asked anymore from her, I'm getting emotional.

"It was testing she had a hard run, but she just kept coming her four from four at the track is now a perfect five."

Baccarat Baby reeled off five consecutive wins in Queensland before venturing to Sydney for the Group 1 Flight Stakes at Randwick last September where she finished a luckless fifth just three-quarters of a length from the winner Oohood.

She claimed her first stakes win in the Listed Princess Stakes over the Sunshine Coast Guineas track and distance in April.

She was beaten in to second place Military Zone in the Group III Fred Best Classic at Eagle Farm and to Kolding in the Group II Queensland Guine3as at Eagle Farm.

Her overall record advances to 7 wins, 2 seconds and 2 thirds from 15 starts with earnings of $377,850, which is a wonderful return for her owner-breeders Matthew Irwin and Peter Harris who had purchased her dam Meerlust for $22,000 at the 2009 Scone Yearling Sale.

A daughter of Johannesburg (USA), Meerlust won one and placed in two of her five starts.

A granddaughter of the blue hen, Fanfreluche, Meerlust's imported dam Flying Visit (USA) is out of a three-quarter sister to L'On Vite (the dam of Holy Roman Emperor) and to Grand Luxe the dam of Casino' Prince's sire Flying Spur and granddam of Encosta de Lago.

Rarely without a good horse, Vinery Stud stalwart Casino Prince stands at a value fee of $6,600 this season.

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