Willie Mullins toasted a first winner in Australia at Flemington on Saturday as True Self breezed to victory in the A$300,000 (£161,060/€186,730) Queen Elizabeth Stakes, writes Jack Haynes.
The six-year-old mare was part leased by OTI Racing for the Spring Carnival and earned connections, including Three Mile House Partnership, a A$200,000 (£107,000/€124,000) bonus for winning a consolation race after missing out on running in the Melbourne
Ryan Moore’s mount cruised into contention and asserted under a hands-and-heels ride to score by a length and a half.
True Self was Mullins’ 12th runner in Australia, where he has saddled Melbourne Cup second and third Max Dynamite and fourth Simenon this decade.
Mullins said: “She was a little unlucky in the Geelong Cup and if she’d have won that she would have got in the Melbourne Cup but I’d much rather have a winner than finishing fifth or sixth in the Melbourne Cup.
“She’s amazing and still improving.”
The Hong Kong Vase is a possible next aim for True Self at Sha Tin on December 8, for which she was shortened to 6-1 (from 11) with bet365, with Mullins contemplating a tilt at Australia’s biggest race next year.
Mullins said: “I’d like to aim her at the Melbourne Cup next year but the jockeys that ride her feel she could drop in trip rather than go up.
“She’s confounded us from the very beginning as she was bought as a jumping mare and I couldn’t believe the size of her when she arrived. She’s proved to be incredible and a little bit of a freak.”