Alinghi Wins Sangster Stakes; Still on Target for U.S. Campaign

The initial running of the group I Robert Sangster Stakes Feb. 23 provided Adelaide fans with a chance to see the high class filly Alinghi in action. And the daughter of Encosta de Lago gave them a star turn to win the $300,000 (Australian funds) event for distaffers by two lengths.

Alinghi roared home under Damier Oliver in 1:8.77 for the 1,200 meters, 85/100ths outside the track and race mark set by Dantelah on a rock-hard surface six years earlier. She remains on course for an an American campaign.

It was a special performance to mark the occasion of the promotion of former Swettenham Stud Stakes from group II for its 23rd edition. The South Australian Jockey Club changed the name of its premier set-weight age contest for females after Sangster's death last year.

Lee Freedman was emotional after the race, declaring her the best horse he has been associated with -- a huge call in that his 100-plus group I wins include champions such as Super Impose and Mahogany.

"That was breathtaking. She is nearly the best horse I've ever trained. With a turn of foot like that she's just about unbeatable," Freedman said. "I'm just glad a lot of people came out to see her today and it was great to win the race as Robert Sangster was a friend of mine."

Bred by WA outfit Piney Ridge & Edenkey Nominees, Alinghi was an $80,000 yearling purchase by syndicators Rob and Corinna Slade in their hometown Melbourne. Coming off a grand second to Fastnet Rock in the Lightning (Aust-I), the Sangster purse advanced her earnings to almost $2.8 million.

The reigning 1,000 Guineas (Aust-I) winner is a mile better than any other 3-year-old filly in this part of the world. Her ability is invites comparison with Sunline at the same age. Alinghi's crew are keen to see her campaign in the U.S. later this year, probably handled by Bobby Frankel.

After rushing past the leaders with ease in beyond mid-stretch the 1-3 heavy favorite scored from year-older filly Glamour Puss (10-1), by Tale of the Cat. Solar Antiquity (Desert Sun) just held off a luckless Gee I Jane for third a farther 2 1/4 lengths adrift.