Fangirl In Apollo Stakes Romp

James McDonald has thrown out a challenge to Fangirl’s autumn carnival rivals, declaring it will take a mighty horse to get the better of her this campaign on the strength of her exquisite first-up display.

Fangirl ($2.10 fav) made a one-act affair of Saturday’s Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick, deftly rounding up her rivals halfway up the straight and accelerating clear for an arrogant 2-1/2 length win over stablemate Militarize ($6.50) with Think It Over ($7.50) another long neck away third.

McDonald was taken aback by the ease of Fangirl’s performance and said it revived memories of Dundeel’s six-length romp in the 2013 ATC Australian Derby at the same track.

“She’s come back in beautiful order and dare I say it, it will take a good one to beat her this prep,” McDonald said.

“It felt like I was on Dundeel in the Derby again, just sidle up the rise and basically felt like an exhibition gallop really for her.”

Having had to settle for a string of feature race placings behind Anamoe for much of her four-year-old season, Fangirl has begun to assert herself as one of the country’s better weight-for-age horses this season.

She captured the Group 1 double of the Winx and King Charles III Stakes in the spring and trainer Chris Waller has her on a path towards more majors this autumn, believing she has only just reached peak maturity.

“The last 12 months she’s come back better,” Waller said.

“What we saw in the King Charles was pretty special, she’s the real deal and has obviously come back very well.

“She’ll go to the Chipping Norton (now Verry Elleegant Stakes), probably come back to the George Ryder (Stakes) and then the Queen Elizabeth.

“She’s no superstar (like) Winx but in our stable she is pretty popular. It’s pretty special.”

Waller saddled up four horses in the Apollo Stakes and was happy with them all, saying Militarize was on target for the Randwick Guineas (1600m) in three weeks, while also optimistic Buckaroo (fifth) and Lindermann (sixth) would go on to make their presence felt during the carnival.

“Militarize, he’s knuckled down solidly the last bit to run second, Buckaroo was good, he’s a Ranvet (Stakes) type of horse,” Waller said.

“And Linderman probably didn’t get galloping room.

“It’s rewarding to see all four of them come back well, knowing that there’s so many good targets in the next few weeks.”

– RAS NewsWire

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