In Australia, all horses turn a year older on Aug. 1. As a result, the racing year ends the day before that. The country's last group I race of the year is historically a seven-furlong sprint for fillies and mares run at Eagle farm racecourse called the Winter Stakes. This year the race was run on June 21.

Worth Aus$500,000, this season’s rendition drew together 20 runners and it was the favored runner Absolute Glam (Snowland-Pine Away by Pine Bluff) who saluted.

Ridden by James Winks, who celebrated his first ever group 1 winner, the 3YO filly took her career stats to 4 wins and 6 placings from just 13 starts. “And if ever a filly deserved a group 1 it’s this one,” said her proud trainer Danny O’Brien. “Her run last start in the group I Stradbroke Handicap against the older open grade horses was fantastic and I really think she has a great future.”

On that day, as was here, Absolute Glam was the youngest runner in the field and she loomed up to win the prestigious $1million race with her run peaking in the last half furlong. She finished just half a length from the winner Mr Baritone in 4th spot, but this time, back to her own sex proved to be decisive.

Winks had her parked just off the pace in about sixth spot throughout the heady lead pace and when he peeled her out and into the clear when they straightened, she sprouted wings. “I couldn’t be happier for him either,” said O’Brien. “He does a lot of riding for us and for him to win his first group 1 race for the stable is a big thrill for him and all of us. He is a great stable supporter and no-one could have ridden her any better,” added the trainer.

Absolute Glam motored home to beat the perennial big race placegetter Fritz’s Princess (More Than Ready  -Superb Lady by Canny Lad) who also made up ground from off the pace. Dale Spriggs rode her and in racing home into second she was chalking up her 5th stakes placed run in a row without a win. Overall she has garnered $555,170 in stakes for her owner Nick Moraitas.

In third spot was the improving mare Alverta (Flying Spur-Grilse by Rahy) who came from fifth on the home turn.  She is trained by young Paul Messara and this was his first group 1 placing as a trainer. He is the son of Australian breeding icon John Messara.

O’Brien said Absolute Glam would holiday in the warmer climate of Queensland for the next two weeks then be transferred to his Melbourne stable again and be set for two group I races during the Melbourne Spring carnival.

“I fully expect her to grow and develop into a top class 4-year-old and this break will do her good. She’ll be aimed for two group 1s in November which are a week apart and I think she will really develop now.”

O’Brien bought Absolute Glam as a yearling for $200,000 for a client who turned her back on the deal two weeks after purchase. O’Brien was then forced to keep a share of her but managed to find eight other clients who gleefully bought into her. She has repaid the trainer’s faith by now earning $748, 900 in stakes and a group 1\I win.

Needless to say she is now an exceptionally valuable mare.

Her sire Snowland, a group I winner himself, has suffered from irregular fertility since going to stud five years ago. Absolute Glam is his best runner from only a handful of starters.

Snowland has found a new home this year at Macquarie Stud in NSW and connections hope the new surrounds plus a vastly restricted book will help his strike rate. He will stand for $16,500 this year. 

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