Trainer Pat Hyland will set his sights higher with improving filly Fille Champagne after her fighting win at Sandown.
Fille Champagne had to do it the tough way after a bumping duel with Lovani in the early stages of Saturday’s Blue Star Group Handicap.
Apprentice Beau Mertens didn’t panic aboard the three-year-old and tracked the Damien Oliver-ridden Lovani to sit second as the field swung for home.
After taking over the lead aboard the $2.80 favourite early in the straight, Mertens drove Fille Champagne home a winner by a head from Invictum Domina ($3.80) with Macattack ($21) a short-half-head away third.
Hyland fears Fille Champagne may get weighted out of similar class fillies races and he will now aim her higher.
Fille Champagne was a $260,000 yearling and Hyland would like to get some black type for the filly during this campaign and is reluctant to send the mare for a break while she is in form.
“She’s a pretty handy filly I think,” Hyland said.
“I don’t know what sort of races will be around for her now but it’s not much good turning her out.
“I’ll have a couple of beers and work something out.”
Mertens said the win was strong after some rough moments early.
“Ollie’s was over-racing and bumped her a couple of times,” Mertens said.
“I think him going forward worked out best for us.
“That showed she’s a tough filly.”No tags for this post.