High-priced More Than Ready yearling Prontezza stood up to be counted when the chips were down at Moe on Monday.
The filly was the blueblood in a blue-collar maiden and lived up to her pedigree with an effortless four-length victory in the CUB Plate (1016m).
“She’s had a few little issues but we saw the real filly and the ability she possesses today,” trainer Robert Smerdon said. “There was a mad scramble early and she tended to race a bit fierce herself. But when Ryan Maloney got her into the clear on straightening, it was a matter of how far.”
Prontezza races for Fairway Thoroughbreds owner John Camilleri and had been unplaced twice in Sydney before transferring to Melbourne. Jockey Ryan Maloney took the ride for the first time on Monday and said she put paid to them quite easily.
“She’s still raw and her own worst enemy. She wanted to rip and tear and it took a while for her to come underneath me. Then she settled into a nice rhythm and, when I pushed the button, it was all over. She has a real good turn of foot.”
Vinery champion More Than Ready sired her from G1 Robert Sangster Stakes winner Rostova (Testa Rossa) and cost Camilleri $550,000 at the 2015 Inglis Easter yearling sale.
Rostova was purchased by Sheikh Mohammad bin Khalifa for $850,000 at the Magic Millions National Sale last year. She was carrying a southern-time positive to Frankel and foaled a colt by him in October.
In England, More Than Ready’s last-start York stakes winner Nemoralia has been backed into $4 for the G1 Coronation Stakes on June 17.
Leading jockey Silvestre de Sousa thinks Nemoralia is the horse to beat at Royal Ascot having witnessed her electric turn of foot at close range last week when beaten 12 lengths on Czabo.
“She’s an eye-catcher and I was very impressed when she went past me up the straight,” de Sousa declared. “Considering she hadn’t run for a long time, it was a tremendous performance and I don’t think there’s anything that can beat her in the Coronation Stakes.”