Guineas Goal for Reward for Effort Filly

Tara Madgwick - Wednesday August 30
A brilliant debut winner at Moonee Valley in January, three year-old Reward for Effort filly Blondie went straight into the Group I MRC Blue Diamond Stakes at her second start and while that plan went pear shaped, there is now a new Group I goal on the horizon.

Blondie fractured a hip when finishing last in the Blue Diamond, but the Brendan McCarthy trained filly has made a good recovery and looked right back to her best when resuming at Sandown on Wednesday to win by the best part of a length.

She settled fourth in the run for Ethan Brown and charged to the line to win the 1000 metre scamper in good style.

"She's going a long way this girl and she's got a lot in front of her so it's a good start for her this time around," trainer Brendan McCarthy said.

"We were hoping to head through on the way to the Thousand Guineas and I think this was a good stepping stone for her."

Blondie showed speed in her two-year-old season but McCarthy said he issued apprentice Ethan Brown with different instructions for her first-up outing, which the young jockey carried out perfectly.

"It was a bit of a look-see today after having the problem with the injury last start," McCarthy said.

Reward for Effort"I knew we could have gone through and led today but I just said to Ethan, 'I want you just to sit back about third or fourth' and he did exactly that.

"She travelled very sweetly and she really had to pick up and go to catch that leader, who had a nice run in front and took a lot of catching.

"She can settle. She's got a very mature head on her shoulders and she can handle everything you put in front of her."

Retained to race by her breeders Innisfree Thoroughbreds, Blondie has won two of three starts earning nearly $70,000 in prizemoney and is the fourth winner from four to race from former speedy General Nediym mare Divine Princess, a half-sister to Group III winner Commanding Hope.

She looks another bright prospect for Reward for Effort, who continues to do a great job at Chatswood Stud where he stands at a fee of $16,500.

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