A supreme ride from jockey Blake Shinn aided smart three-year-old filly Coeur Volante (Proisir x Shanina) to make it back-to-back stakes victories when running out a resounding winner of the Gr.2 Thousand Guineas Prelude (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
The Michael Moroney-trained daughter of Proisir had been a stunning winner of the Gr.3 Scarborough Stakes (1200m) at The Valley at her previous outing, but faced the stiff challenge of drawing the outside barrier of 14 from the tricky 1400m start.
Speared out of the barrier by Shinn, the champion hoop had Coeur Volante one out and one back after 100m and the result was never in doubt, with the filly powering to the line to score by a length and a quarter from Vivy Air with the Mark Walker-trained Zourion fighting on well for third.
Moroney said that he left tactics up to Shinn, with last season’s Scobie Breasley Medal winner making all the right calls.
“It was another very good ride but she flew the gates and I left it up to Blake, as you do with those good jocks,” Moroney said.
“He said that if she flew the gates, he’d be positive and if she didn’t he’d ride her back so she flew the gates and, for a filly that has had very little practice, she did a good job getting across because she had to go again to get there and I thought it was a great effort.
“I thought when they swung in she’d used her tickets but gee she pulled that extra out.”
Moroney described the filly as pretty special and will now plot a path towards the Gr.1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield which will be run on November 18 this year, as part of a revamped Victorian Spring Carnival.
“The decision we’ve got to make now is if we give her a run ten days before on Melbourne Cup Day or whether we go straight into it,” he said.
The filly has now won three of her four starts, with Shinn aboard for the past two stakes wins.
“It was a great effort by my girl,” Shinn said. “She’s a really talented horse as she displayed at The Valley and the job was going to be for me and the horse to overcome that draw.
“I’m very grateful to Mike and the connections to allow me to have that free rein to assess it from the start.
“That was really not my plan to do what we did but we called it as we jumped and she jumped probably half-a-length in front of the rest.
“I didn’t want to take that from us. It is a difficult start to try and get right and we chanced our arm going forward and fortunately we got in.
“I think it says a lot of the horse and her make up being able to make a couple of runs on her. These good horses, when they’re really good you can make a couple of runs on them and it was a great quality for her to display that today.
“I wasn’t sure that she had that in her armoury but it is great that going forward we can ride her in a pattern like that if necessary.”
Bred by the Fell family from Fairdale Stud out of the Testa Rossa mare Shanina, Moroney and his bother Paul purchased the filly for $90,000 out of the Prima Park draft during the Book 1 Yearling Sale at Karaka in 2022.
She is the younger half-sister of stakes placed filly Hasstobemagic and comes from a family that includes multiple Australian Group Two winner Rose O’ War and outstanding racemare Savanna City who included the Gr.1 AJC Oaks (2400m) amongst her eight career victories.
Coeur Volante is one of 14 individual stakes winner for her Rich Hill Stud-based sire Proisir, who was New Zealand’s Champion sire for the first time last season.