Aloisia (Image: Racing Photos)
Aaron Purcell has not given up on Aloisia making it as a stayer despite the Group 1 winner's shock defeat in Thursday's $1 million Kennedy Oaks at Flemington.
The star filly, who started $1.80 favourite on account of wins in the Thousand Guineas and the Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase against the boys, laboured into sixth position in the 2500-metre race won by Pinot.
The daughter of Azamour was uncustomarily edgy before the race, had to be replated ahead of the start and then raced more forward than normal after a swift getaway, which Purcell said was not the ideal recipe at a filly's first try at 2500m.
"She sprung a shoe before the start and had to get replated and unfortunately it was in front of the big crowd, so she was quite worked up," Purcell said.
"She jumped well, probably a bit too well, and then horses pushed up inside her and forced her wide and she probably didn't settle well enough. She had a good enough run in the middle of the race, but I thought the work she did early took away from her finish.
"I'm sure she'll run 2400 in the autumn. We'll probably head towards the AJC Oaks and hopefully win a few races on the way through."
Luke Nolen, who was aboard for those wins in the Guineas and Vase, is not as convinced, but was forgiving of the performance.
"We had a sound run in the race and travelled up well behind the winner. Blake Shinn [Luvaluva] rounded me before straightening and poured a bit more pressure on, but we still travelled before that stage.
"Just when I asked her, she didn't have her normal zip, and I don't know if she was exploited because she was at the 2500m or things didn't go her way.
"We probably haven't answered every question, but we'll probably have another go at the mile-and-a-half in the autumn."
Here's what some of the other beaten jockeys had to say:
Luke Currie - Bring Me Roses (2nd): "She ran great. She still tugged a little bit down the back. I thought she was going to win at the top of the straight, but the winner kept kicking and was too good."
Michael Dee - Hiyaam (3rd): "She's run well. She's done her best work the last 100m. I would've liked the race to be more flowing, she may have run a bit closer, but good run."
Blake Shinn - Luvaluva (4th): "She ran well. The pace backed off from the 1400m, we just put her into the race from the 650m, thought she was home at the 300m - maybe I went a bit too soon."
Noel Callow - Miss Admiration (5th): "She ran really good. It's pretty hard to stuff up from barrier one. We got a nice run, and when they peeled out I ended up on the back of the winner, and she ground it out nice. It's a pity she didn't get third for the owners, but had every possible [chance]."
Kerrin McEvoy - Rimraam (7th): "She just rode like she didn't see the trip out that strong."
Craig Williams - Reliable Dame (8th): "She got into a nice position, they didn't go too fast. When they outsprinted her at the 700m, she was one-paced until the wire."
Hugh Bowman - Four Koalas (10th): "Just not up to it."
Michael Walker - Circuleight (last): "Track too hard, jarred up, didn't pull up that good."