Co-trainer Luke Price was dreaming of a Kembla Grange Classic tilt with After Thought following the filly’s dominant breakthrough triumph on Wednesday afternoon.
The daughter of So You Think had it all her own way as she surged to an comfortable 3-¼ length victory on her home track.
Price was delighted by the impressive display and was eyeing off a return to the venue on March 16 for the Illawarra Turf Club’s premier mile event for three-year-old fillies.
“It has been the goal since the time she came back,” he said.
“She is a very highly strung filly and she has just come along way since her first preparation.”
She has just come along way since her first preparation.Luke Price
After Thought failed to fire in two runs as a juvenile, but has been far more competitive at her second preparation.
She never looked like getting beaten at her fourth career start in the Happy New Year Country & Provincial Maiden Handicap (1300m).
Jockey Winona Costin was able to claim an uncontested lead at the head of the field and controlled proceedings from that moment on.
When she asked the filly to respond, After Thought ($26) kicked into another gear to finish well clear of Brad Widdup’s Heartaches ($11) at the post, with Waldo Waldolf ($9) in third.
““I was pretty confident coming here and then she got away with those sectionals out in front,” Price said.
“She shows that turn of foot and I feel she is going to be a better horse ridden quieter, when she has something to chase. She had a her ears pricked and was having a really good look around, but still ran great sectionals.”
Price, who trains alongside his father Robert, said he left it up to Costin to decide where to settle in the run.
The former Kembla champion apprentice would make a winning decision.
“She began well so I took up the front and I went to let them go but nobody wanted to go,” Costin said.
“We just went at a very leisurely tempo and when we got to the 600m, I asked her to kick in and that she did.
“She found the line nicely.”
Costin returned to winning ways in the penultimate race with a cool, calm and collected ride on odds on favourite Prometheus, which had missed the start by three lengths.