Waikato Stud-bred and raced filly Never Been Kissed proved too strong in Saturday’s Gr.1 Flight Stakes (1600m) at Randwick for Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, with the elite-level success coming at just her fourth start.
The victory by Never Been Kissed was a breakthrough for young High Chaparral stallion Tivaci, who stands at Waikato Stud and is making every post a winner now his eldest crop have turned three.
Ridden by Regan Bayliss, Never Been Kissed tracked the leaders throughout and showed plenty of stamina and resolve in the straight to provide Australia’s First Lady of Racing, Gai Waterhouse, with her tenth Flight Stakes victory, and second for training partner Adrian Bott, whose initial top-flight success came when Global Glamour won the feature in 2016.
The filly has now won three of her four starts, and despite finishing ninth in the Gr.2 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m), the $41 outsider had raced without luck.
“The Flight Stakes was our first Group One in partnership so it will always be a special race for us. This is where it all started for us with Global Glamour,” Bott said.
“We thought Never Been Kissed would be a nice filly once she got out to this sort of trip. She didn’t quite have the brilliance of these fillies or wasn’t quite seasoned enough to be taking them on over the shorter, sharper trips.
“We were able to link in once she got over a bit further. I thought she ran well in the Tea Rose, unfortunately she was caught wide and covered plenty of ground. They weren’t making up much ground that day so I felt she stuck on very well.
“Getting out to the mile which is what she needed and a nice soft draw helped her today, she was excellent.
“We always had that confidence in her coming here that being bred out of New Zealand and off such a great farm she would always have that great constitution and great foundation to come here and run a strong mile race.
“It is fantastic to get a result for the team there at Waikato Stud, for the stallion Tivaci and for everyone involved. It is fantastic to have an opportunity to train such a nice filly.”
Bott was mindful that the three-year-old filly is in her first preparation, but didn’t rule out backing up in the Gr.1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on Wednesday week.
“She holds an entry for the Thousand Guineas, so whether we take her down to Melbourne next week we’ll have to weigh up that option. Next preparation I’m sure she can stretch out a bit further off the back of today,” Bott said.
The win was the first of a Group One double for Regan Bayliss, who also landed the Epsom Handicap (1600m) aboard Private Eye.
Never Been Kissed is one of six individual winners for Gr.1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) winner Tivaci, who has a host of progressive types running for him at present including Friday’s impressive Te Rapa winner The Landing.
The filly is out of the Savabeel mare Movie, who won three races for David Hayes and Tom Dabernig. Movie is a three-quarter sister to multiple Group Two winner Ocean Emperor, who stands at stud for Gary Hennessy.
A half-brother to Never Been Kissed by Sacred Falls will be offered at the forthcoming New Zealand Bloodstock Ready To Run Sale through the Ohukia Lodge draft on behalf of Waikato Stud.
There are eight lots by Tivaci catalogued at the Ready To Run Sale, which takes place on November 17 and 18 at Karaka. – NZ Racing Desk