A luckless fifth on debut at Warwick Farm on April 19, the elegant 2yo Maurice (JPN) filly Azula made no mistake at start two when leading at every call over 1400m at Randwick-Kensington on Wednesday.
Ridden by Jean Van Overmeire for Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott, the near-black filly was never in danger in defeating the Grunt gedling Rhythm Of Love by one and a quarter lengths, with the Justify (USA) colt Californian making ground late, the same distance back in third.
Adrian Bott said Azula might press on to Queensland.
“That was a nice, strong effort under a confident ride by Jean,” Adrian Bott said.
“He took control of the race and rolled forward. We thought she would be strong over this trip, which she showed first up.
“She showed good improvement and is a lovely filly. We wanted to see her get out to this distance. We will have to decide whether we press on to the Queensland Carnival.
“She will be a nice filly over a bit of a trip in the spring, so we have a few options to weigh up.”
A $100,000 purchase for G Waterhouse / A Bott / Kestrel from the Twin Hills Stud draft at the 2022 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale, Azula is the fifth winner from six to race from the Redoute’s Choice mare Shutout.
From Cambridge Stud’s fames family of Lonhro, Grosvenor, Lankan Rupee and Tavago, Shutout is the daughter of Group II winner and Group 1 NZ Thousand Guineas runner-up La Sizeranne (Stravinsky).
Kelette Lodge bought a Denman colt from Shutout for $70,000 from the Twin Hills Stud draft at the 2023 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale.
After foaling a Fiorente colt last spring, Shutout was covered by Hallowed Crown.
Azula is the fifth 2yo winner of the season for Arrowfield Stud’s Maurice (JPN).