The Group II MVRC McEwen Stakes at Moonee Valley on Saturday produced an upset result when talented mare Angelic Light (5m Holy Roman Emperor x Flashed, by Fuji Kiseki) upstaged the world’s highest rated sprinter in Lankan Rupee.
A triple Group I winner last season, Lankan Rupee ran a terrific race, jumping fast and stalking the speedy three year-old filly Eloping (3f Choisir x Runaway Jesse, by Rory’s Jester) throughout, but when he surged past her, the effort started to tell and Angelic Light pounced late to snatch a thrilling win in the 1000 metre dash.
A five year-old daughter of Holy Roman Emperor, Angelic Light has always shown above average ability for the Robbie Griffiths stable winning three of her first four starts as a spring three year-old including a win at Moonee Valley in the Listed MVRC Crockett Stakes.
She closed out her three year-old season with a gallant second to Platelet in the Group I SAJC Robert Sangster Stakes before being sidelined for more than year through injury.
“We didn’t expect this,” said Robbie Griffiths.
“You can’t expect to beat the best sprinter in the world, so to see her win is very exciting.
“She had a tendon strain and the owners had to decide whether to go to stud or race on, so they’ve been very patient and it’s been a real team effort to get her back.”
Having her second run back from a spell, Angelic Light was partnered by Ryan Maloney, who was thrilled with her performance.
“She’s all class and she deserved it,” he said.
A $30,000 Inglis Premier purchase for her trainer from the draft of Northern Lodge, Angelic Light runs for a big group of extremely happy owners and has the overall record of five wins and five placings 13 starts with $442,500 in prizemoney.
Bred by Northern Lodge, Angelic Light is the best of six winners from stakes-winning Fuji Kiseki mare Flashed, who died in 2012.
Her sire Holy Roman Emperor shuttled to Australia for four seasons and is now based permanently in Ireland.