Sitting up on the pace set by Mahlani, Dwayne Dunn set the Written Tycoon filly Booker alight coming around the home turn and had enough in hand to fend off the challenges of the favoured Fastnet Rock fillies Shoals and Catchy in Sunday's $200,000 Group II Schweppes Thousand Guineas Prelude (1400m) at Caulfield.
Under the set weights with penalties conditions of the race Booker carried 55kgs while runner-up Shoals had 57kgs and Catchy 58.5 kgs and that may have been the story of the race.
In recording her first stakes success, the Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra-trained Booker defeated the previously unbeaten Shoals by a long-neck with Group I Blue Diamond Stakes heroine Catchy doing her best work late for third a short-head further back. (photo Darryl Sherer).
Placed behind Catchy in the Group II Danehill Stakes at Flemington and behind Merchant Navy the Group III McNeill Stakes at Caulfield, Booker advances her record to 2 wins, 2 seconds and 1 third from 5 starts with earnings of $286,000.
"She got a bit of a speed pedigree, but she's got a lot of stamina there as well," Dunn said.
"Getting to the bend I was under a little bit of pressure, she came back under me good and she wanted to lay out a little bit like she did the other day, but it was a good effort against some really top-quality fillies.
"Today we wanted to take the race by the scruff of the neck and try and try and be there, we're going to the mile next time so make sure that she could run it.
"It is a really good box to tick and hopefully she can win the Thousand Guineas."
Matthew Ellerton said the daughter of Written Tycoon will likely press on to the Group 1 Thousand Guineas at Caulfield in a fortnight.
"She did a bit of work early, we were always going to be positive and she was good enough to hold on," Ellerton said.
"She is a filly that doesn't get under much pressure at home so she is probably still learning to let down. Both starts here she's wobbled around the bend, she is just getting used to that race day pressure I think.
"She probably didn't want much further today, but she did do a little bit of work early and she does have a bit of improvement to come."
A $230,000 purchase by part-owner Barry Griffith from Mill Park Stud draft at the 2016 Inglis Premier Yearling sale, Booker is the first foal of the winning Flying Spur mare Noondie who is a half-sister to Listed winner Tranquillity out of the Belmont Guineas winner Creatrix (Umatilla) who is a three-0quarter sister to 2-time Group I Toorak Handicap winner Umrum and to the dam of multiple Group II winner Tan Tat Delago (Encosta de Lago).
Noondie has a 2yo colt by Helmet and a yearling colt by Written Tycoon. She foaled a Starspangledbanner colt on August 13, pictured below.