Home » Castanya headed down Golden Slipper path after Lonhro Plate win

Castanya headed down Golden Slipper path after Lonhro Plate win

Castanya headed down Golden Slipper path after Lonhro Plate win

Castanya underlined the Switzerland form and put herself on the Golden Slipper path with her impressive win at Royal Randwick on Saturday.

The Annabel Neasham-trained Castanya unleashed a powerful finishing surge to collar early leader Embassy in the final few bounds to win the Listed $200,000 Lonhro Plate (1000m).

Neasham confirmed Castanya will now be given her chance to gain a start in the $5m Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 23

“Obviously, I will see how she pulls up but I think we’ll go to one of the fillies’ Slipper lead-ups – that’s surely got to have her in the picture now,” Neasham said.

“She was second behind a smart one (Switzerland) last time, I think she’s taken improvement today.

“I was a bit worried when the rain came earlier because she didn’t handle the heavy track in the trials the other day, so I wasn’t sure how a (soft) six would be but they’ve presented the track beautifully today. It was a lovely patient ride by Zac (Lloyd).”

Castanya ($9.50) ran down Embassy ($4.40) near the line to win by a long head with Anode ($3.80 favourite) three-quarters of a length away third.

In both her starts, Castanya has closed strongly late, finishing second on debut behind boom colt Switzerland last month before breaking through for a valuable stakes win in the Lonhro Plate.

“She’s still a bit all legs and obviously doesn’t have that early toe as some of the other two-year-olds, but she’s got that flying finish,” Lloyd enthused.

“The further she goes, the better she’ll be. She’s a lovely filly, real push button.

“Obviously after her first run we were very happy with her effort but we were just a bit worried about the 1000 metres again today.

“Once again she was run off her feet but the last 200 (metres) was very good.”

Castanya is the fifth filly in succession to win the Lonhro Plate after Madeira Sunrise (2023), Cythera (2022), Tilanam (2021) and Supreme Idea (2020).

Castanya was born and raised at Gooree Park Stud in the Mudgee region and stems from one of their many elite foundation families.

In fact, Castanya’s third dam, Tempest Morn, could easily be regarded as one of the toughest horses to have ever raced in the famous red and black colours even by Gooree standards.

Trainer Annabel Neasham feels Castanya will be even better when she gets out further in distance. Picture: Grant Guy

Incredibly, Tempest Morn contested four consecutive Group 1 Oaks and a Derby in three States in the space of five weeks, winning one and being runner-up in the other four.

Castanya, a daughter of the 2015 Magic Millions winner Capitalist, was purchased for $300,000 at the Magic Millions Yearling Sales. She is raced by a syndicate including prominent Sydney racing owners Francis and Christine Cook.

Neasham holds the filly in high regard and admitted to being surprised when bookies opened her at $26, particularly after her good debut effort.

“I was amazed at the odds today,” Neasham said.

“She was big odds first-up as well, but she’s just the most beautiful filly, so laid-back.

“She’s quite casual in everything she does but she seems to know when to turn it on. The nice thing with her is she is strong late so the further we go the better she is going to get.”

Embassy made a game effort to lead all-the-way on debut with co-trainer Paul Snowden full of praise for the colt.

“He’s not a leader so his effort was very good,” Snowden said.

Embassy’s jockey Tommy Berry agreed with Snowden’s summation of the race.

“We just got left in front on his own,” Berry said.

“Once Gai’s horse (Anode) dropped off, he did a good job. The winner had race experience which was probably the difference.”

Anode’s jockey Adam Hyeronimus said the wide gate didn’t help the youngster’s cause.