South Australian-bred mare Elysees Crest, in a seemingly hopeless position when buried on the pegs in eighth place with 400m to travel, got off the inside 150m later and flew home to win the $50,000 Bazzo Real Estate Empress Stakes at Westernn Australia's harness racin headquarters - Gloucester Park on Friday night (April 16).
"This was the first time I had sat behind her and I was impressed," said reinsman Morgan Woodley. "She's got a very nice sprint and should win plenty more races."
oodley certainly made the right choice when he decided to drive Elysees Crest for trainer Ross Olivieri ahead of Sunsets West.
He had driven Sunsets West when she had surged home to finish second to Nowuseeme the previous Friday night in a race in which Elysees Crest had finished third. Woodley had also driven Sunsets West to a most impressive victory a week before her second to Nowuseeme.
"I chose Elysees Crest because her previous run caught my eye," Woodley said. "When the gap opened tonight Elysees Crest sprinted strongly and she had enough in reserve that I didn't even have to pull the ear plugs."
Elysees Crest, who was a 9/1 chance after going into the race with a losing sequence of 11, scored by 2m from stablemate Slick Lavra (5/1), who charged home from 11th at the bell.
Little Big Sister (6/4 to 9/4) set the pace and battled on doggedly to finish third.
Elysees Crest, who rated 2.1 over the 2536m trip, has won at three of her 17 WA starts after winning 17 races in South Australia and three times in Victoria. She now has earned $227,630.
Elysees Crest, by, is the 14th foal out of the WA-bred mare Paris Player, who also produced Lombo La Paree, a winner of $112,085 from her eight wins and six placings from only 14 starts.