Stella Anne reacted to a perfectly-timed ride by Craig Staples to score a narrow victory in the Events At Ascot Hcp (1200m) at Belmont on Wednesday.
The Galah filly beat a wall of horses headed by Maschino Miss (Maschino) and Pletto (Playing God). Front-runner Warzachantz (War Chant) still held a margin a couple of strides from the post but was swamped to finish fourth. Short-priced favourite Morning Song (Bernardini) was only beaten a half-length into fifth.
“There were a lot of horses surging late and I wasn’t confident we would get there,” Staples reported. “But she stuck her head out right on the line.”
Stella Anne is a homebred for Jerry Stelmach and is trained by his wife Christine. Her dam Beautiful Bon Bon (Ron Bon) was a brilliant sprinter for the south-west couple winning a Summer Scorcher and Crawford Quality.
Her sire Galah stands at Rangeview Stud and the Stelmachs won this year’s LR Bunbury Cup with Rangeview-bred stayer Couleur Bizarre (So Secret).
“I told Craig she was ready to run a good race,” Jerry Stelmach said. “She didn’t handle a heavy track last time so we chucked her in the paddock for a quick break. She’s been a time-bomb at home and is a favourite of mine. Chris has a lot of time for her, too.”
Top-class filly Party Night led Galah’s first 2yo crop last season and among his second crop is the colt from Tycoon Cut (Don’t Say Halo) that cost the Stelmachs $40,000 at the 2018 Perth Magic Millions. His dam won five races in Perth for Jim Taylor.
Galah (Redoute’s Choice) was trained by Peter Snowden for feature race victories in the G2 QTC Cup and G3 VRC Carbine Club Stakes. He’s available for a $5,500 service fee at Rangeview Stud.