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Brown's got a 'Lady' in waiting

Three-year-old beats strong Restricted Maiden field on Sunday

Trainer Cliff Brown could have a good filly for the Three-Year-Old series next year.

That, after Ararat Lady did the job impressively when taking out the $85,000 Ocean Park Stakes over 1,200m on Sunday.

A three-year-old by Battle Paint, the filly served notice with a good run on debut when second behind My Big Boss in early last month.

Amirul Ismadi was in the saddle that day but, on Gold Cup Day, Michael Rodd did the steering.

With Hugo - the mount of Craig Williams - the focus of all the betting attention, Ararat Lady went about her pre-race rituals like a quiet assassin.

Still, she didn't escape the notice of Kranji's astute punters and she finally went off as the second pick at $15.

The race had panned out well for her. Content to stay in midfield all the way down the back stretch, she was still about seventh when Rodd peeled her out for clear room at the top of the straight.

By then, the raging favourite Hugo was in trouble. His mind was making appointments his body could not keep and he was a spent force 300m out.

Not so, Ararat Lady. She hit the front 250m out and, once she had stolen that break, there was no catching her.

It was Golden Years (Olivier Placais) who produced the second-best run, with Lincoln Moonlight (Matthew Poon) taking third spot.'

Tim Fitzsimmons, the assistant trainer to Brown, paid a compliment to the "Lady", saying she had made significant headway since her baptism of fire a little over a month ago.

"She ran fantastic. It was also a great ride by Michael, who tucked her in behind," said the Australian horseman.

"She had improved in her trackwork after the last run, and she's also put on weight.

"We'll see how she pulls up before deciding if she runs again or if we bring her back next year."

The win on Ararat Lady was Rodd's 63rd for the season, tying him at the top with Vlad Duric, who is currently suspended.

He said: "I full agree with Tim. I remember a couple of months ago when I did pacework on her, I thought she would be a Class 4 type.

"But at her first start, she showed she had really come on physically and mentally. She was very impressive when winning.

"There was some scrimmaging in the race, but she composed herself, put her head down and got the job done. She beat a good Restricted maiden field. She put it away nicely.

"She's got a nice turn of foot and she will come back next year a better filly. I can't see why she shouldn't go for the 3YO series, even if she still has a long way to go."

The Singapore Three-Year-Old Challenge kicks off sometime in March next year, culminating with the Group 1 Singapore Guineas over 1,600m in May.

HORSE RACING