Charge Forward’s daughter Slightly Sweet bounced back into the winner’s circle at Royal Randwick on Saturday when she led home a competitive 3YO handicap field in class record time of 1:21.81 for the 1400 metres.
A winner on debut at Kembla Grange last month, Slightly Sweet ended up five wide in Listed Race company two weeks ago at Rosehill, and did well to finish less than four lengths from the winner Abduction.
This time she enjoyed a more straightforward run, settling fifth behind the speed, and finding space easily round the turn. Jockey Kathy O’Hara asked a serious question at the top of the straight and received a generous reply as Slightly Sweet wound up strongly to reach the lead 100 metres from home and cruise to victory a length and a nose ahead of Wine Tales and Careless.
Slightly Sweet is trained by Jason Coyle for her co-breeders Michele, Hamish, Patrick & Elise Esplin after being passed in at the 2013 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale.
She is out of the Dubai Destination mare Semitone, a half-sister to stakeswinner Stay Tuned, from the family of Tom Rolfe, Chieftain & Alzao. Semitone also has a 2YO filly by Charge Forward, now named Positive Charge, bought by Bryce Heys for $130,000 at the 2014 Magic Millions Sale.
Hamish Esplin said, “Credit has to go to Kathy for a very sensible, calm ride. First time she has ridden for us but not the last. And of course Jason, not easy to come back from stakes level at any time.”
Jason Coyle said, “It is all happening a bit soon for her, I think she is stakes class but she might not just be ready yet for a trip to Melbourne. It was a good win today, it was great to get her back to winning after what happened last start,”
Kathy O’Hara is enthusiastic about Slightly Sweet’s prospects. “I’ve had a fair bit to do with this girl and I think she has nice ability. She is still very green, got a lot to learn and last start things just didn’t go her way.
“Today we got a much nicer run and she proved what she is really capable of. I think next Autumn you will see her improve again.”
Slightly Sweet, First Light Racing’s unbeaten filly Face Forward, and the Gai Waterhouse-trained Confederate give Charge Forward an exciting trio of 3YOs with a fine chance of lengthening his record of 26 stakes performers.