Perth mare Kissonallforcheeks became eligible for a $1 million bonus in Melbourne after winning the G2 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on Saturday.
The Dawson Stud-bred raider settled well back from an outside barrier before cornering wide into the straight. She finished powerfully under Mark Zahra to collar front-runner Lady Of Honour (No Nay Never) and then edge ahead to score by a neck.
Kissonallforcheeks (pictured) had won the G3 Shaftesbury Avenue Stakes over the same track and trip in March and started her latest Eastern States campaign with a solid first-up third in the G3 Cockram Stakes at Caulfield last month.
Trainer Nick Ryan, who has taken over preparing Kissonallforcheeks from Dan Morton, was initially going to target the G1 Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield next Saturday but decided it was a better fit to go a week earlier.
“She’s a classy mare and had done well since the Cockram. I was confident she would run well but from the tricky draw, we knew she would need an ounce of luck.
“Mark trusted the horse and tucked her in with cover off a genuine tempo. It was executed perfectly.
“There are a few different paths but we’re leaning towards the (G2) Rose Of Kingston Stakes (1400m) on October 1 in the lead-up to the (G1) Empire Rose Stakes (1600m) on October 29.”
Kissonallforcheeks will bank a $1million bonus in addition to $600,000 winning prizemoney if she wins the Empire Rose Stakes for which she is an $8 second-favourite behind Imperatriz ($4.20).
Racing Victoria introduced the bonus in direct response to the Racing NSW-sponsored $2 million The Invitation (1400m) for Fillies & Mares which will be run at Randwick on October 22.
“The Group 1 Empire Rose offer the placegetters coveted black type for their future breeding careers,” RV Chairman Brian Kruger said. “And now it also offers a winner’s cheque of $1.6 million for any horse that has claimed a designated race on their way to Flemington.”
Kissonallforcheeks was bred by Graham Daws and is a daughter of Champion sire Written Tycoon from Rosie Rocket (Blackfriars) who was a Listed winner of a Starstruck Classic and La Trice Classic at Ascot.
She has won 10 of her 23 starts earning prizemoney of $1,118,990 boosted by Westspeed Platinum Bonuses of $154,240 for owners Jill O’Sullivan and Darren White. Rosie Rocket has a 2yo colt by Russian Revolution and a yearling filly by All Too Hard.