Chris Waller took until the last minute to take I Am Serious out of the Epsom, but the decision to wait for the Angst Stakes means the mare became a group 3 winner at Randwick on Saturday.
The five-year-old will hunt the group 1 in Melbourne in the Myer Classic after landing some good bets as a $1.90 favourite.
It was a typical Waller preparation, dropping I Am Serious back from 2000m to a mile after she was a fighting third behind Avilius and Brimham Rocks in the Kingston Town Stakes three weeks ago.
It has proven one of the strongest form lines in Sydney, with Avilius running his way into the Melbourne Cup by winning the Bart Cummings on Saturday and Brimham Rocks being runner-up in last week’s Metropolitan.
I Am Serious lived up to the form by sprinting away to win by 1-1/4 length from Mandylion and Dixie Blossoms, which had won the race for the past two years.
“The 2000m back to a mile suited her, as did the ground, she’s very good on a wet track,” Waller’s foreman Charlie Duckworth said.
“She just got the dream run through. I think everyone was a little bit nervous at the point of the turn, whether she would get out, but when the gap came she took about 100m to go through her gears and was very strong late.
“She turns up every time and she is very game and very gutsy.”
Jockey James McDonald made it a winning double for the Waller after scoring on Zourkhan earlier in the day and said I Am Serious was a special horse for him.
“It is good to ride a winner in these colours. She was actually one of my first winners back (from suspension). It was good to hop back on and win again,” McDonald said.
“She has been running against some great company.
“There is that trick again [for the Waller stable], 2000m back to the mile.
“He does it time and time again. It is a credit to the team and the mare, she turns up every time and delivers the goods rain, hail or shine.”
Meanwhile as his best son Chautauqua farewelled racing at Flemington on Saturday, Coolmore Stud announced the passing of Encosta De Lago.
He was a multiple champion stallion and fathered 25 group 1 winners.
“Encosta will be greatly missed by all who dealt with him at Coolmore over the last 14 years,” Coolmore Australia boss Tom Magnier said. “He spent most of his time on our farm here and only shuttled once to Ireland, so there are a lot of staff that were really upset this morning.
“He was a horse with a beautiful nature and we were incredibly lucky to have him. His legacy will live on through his sire line descendants like Zoustar and Rubick, as well as through his daughters, who have already made him champion broodmare sire.” with AAP