Diminutive filly Headway became the first Group 1 winner for Arrowfield Stud’s young stallion Charge Forward when she came from well back in the field to snatch victory in Saturday’s Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington.
In a driving finish Headway nosed out King Pulse with a head back to Shellscrape in third place.
The Peter Moody trained 3yo was runner-up to Phelan Ready in last season’s G1 Golden Slipper Stakes.
“She’s most deserving of a Group One,” Moody said. “She has been ultra-consistent for her whole career”.
“She’s a gutsy little filly that has never been out of a place at Group level over 1200 metres. “She got the luck today but is a hell of a good filly.”
With the filly’s known dislike of the whip, Moody praised rider Luke Nolen who refrained from using the whip in the closing stages despite the closeness of the finsih.
“It’s a family trait,” said Moody. I trained her mother (Chatelaine) and she could not be hit by the stick and this filly is the same”.
Nolen was also full of admiration for Headway.
“She’s only small but most of it is heart,” said Nolen. “She could be a hand or two bigger but while she lacks a bit of size she doesn’t lack any strength”.
Headway now joins the Millionaire’s Club. Her overall record now reads 4 wins and 4 seconds from 10 starts for earnings of $1,124,888.
Owner Tony Santic secured the filly for $175,000 from the Turangga Farm consignment at the 2008 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale.
She is the first foal of the Flying Spur mare Chatelaine, whose long list of near misses in stakes races included runner-up efforts in the AJC Silver Shadow Stakes (G2), STC Research Stakes (G3) and AJC Widden Stakes (LR).
Chatelaine has a yearling colt by Charge Forward and was covered by Zizou last spring.
Headway is the only stakes-winner to date for her sire Charge Forward (Red Ransom) and was the major contributor in her sire being crowned the leading first crop sire last season.
Source: Mark Smith, Breednet