It will be exciting to see what’s next for Hardly Ever after she justified strong market support to score an eye-catching victory on debut at Belmont on Wednesday.
Trainer Simon Miller believes she has Ascot carnival potential after she won the Amelia Park Handicap (1000m) with a powerful sprint from near last.
Purchased for $18,000 as a weanling, the Nicconi filly opened at $6 with Tabtouch, but was heavily backed into $3.10 second favouritism behind Defending ($2.80).
Hardly Ever drifted back in the field after the start, but charged home for jockey Pat Carbery and defeated Story Book by ¾ of a length with The Lady Is A Vamp third.
Miller has no doubt Hardly Ever has a big future in front of her.
“She is pretty good,” Miller said.
“She’s a filly going places.
“On straightening we were a fair way off them and I thought this will be interesting, but she flattened out and crunched into gear and had her ears pricked on the line.
“She is very good and I’m on cloud nine.
“I’ve had a boom on her for a long time and when you see the money for her you want to make sure she delivers.”
Carbery said Hardly Ever delivered on Miller’s pre-race confidence and hype.
He was quietly optimistic she could deliver first up after Miller compared her favourably to his other impressive three-year-old It’sarayday.
Carbery sat aboard It’sarayday, a son of Winning Rupert, in the gelding’s only race start when he defeated The Front Bar over 1200m last month.
“The raps were pretty strong on her,” Carbery said.
“He (Miller) compared her to a few horses including It’sarayday and thought she was better than them.
“I was pretty happy with that sort of summation.
“I took bad luck out of the equation and got her to the outside,
“She stood them up a good way, but ended up winning quite convincingly, I thought.”