The Robert Britton trained C’est La Vie ($9.70) made it a one act affair against a quality field of young female chasers in the final of the Group 1 Hawkins Media Laurels Classic final at Sandown Park on Thursday night.
After showing her customary early speed from the white box, C’est La Vie led the Laurels field a merry dance on her way to a memorable Laurels victory.
It always promised to be an intriguing final after the box-draw, with the fancied runners all being drawn together in boxes two through to six, and while C’est La Vie was grabbing the early advantage her most prominent rivals bumped and jostled for position as they passed the post the first time around.
Race favourite Arsonist ($2.10F) got shuffled back behind Cara Bale ($5.10) and Galaxy High ($8.80) with the latter falling heavily as the field transitioned through the first turn.
The field strung out going down the back straight as Cara Bale began to push through along the fence to launch her assault on the leading runner.
However, C’est La Vie had established a winning break and while a gallant Cara Bale managed to close the margin to three quarters of a length, she never really looked a winning chance in the closing stages.
Geisha Bale ($17.40), one of three runners for legendary trainer Graeme Bate, stuck on well for third holding off a lunging Arsonist to get amongst the money.
C’est La Vie joins an elite honour roll that includes recent winners of the ilk of Hail A Harley, Dance Portrait and four-time Group 1 winner Paua To Burn in the last Laurels series to be conducted in the June timeslot. Her victory was made all the more impressive by virtue of the fact that she progressed through the three week series undefeated.
The Laurels will now move to December under a raft of strategic changes to the AGRA national calendar and will coincide with The Silver Chief series at The Meadows.
After the placed runners the field finished in the following order 4th Arsonist ($2.10), 5th Coco Bale ($7.50), 6th Soul Calibur ($13.40), 7th Arnalda Bale ($46.00) and Galaxy High fell ($8.80).
C’est La Vie is raced by the Two Syndicate and trained by Robert Britton at Lara in Victoria. She is a Red Fawn bitch by Cool Performance from Flipper (Awesome Assassin x Mabilis Babe). C’est La Vie has won eight of her 19 starts and has been placed on four occasions with the $50,000 first prize for the Laurels it took her current stake earnings to $66,995.
Recognized Australia wide as the pinnacle age restricted bitches classic the Laurels was first conducted by the Sandown Club in 1964 when won by Tara Princess. It is a very much sought after Group 1 event with the winner usually acknowledged as a very valuable brood bitch as well as most carve out a successful race career. It has also been proven over the years that most of the finalists are bitches that produce when they go to stud and some have become house hold names after producing some of the superstars of the sport.
The Classic has found some outstanding winners over the years none the least 1965 champ Cheltenham Lass who later in her career was runner up and won a Melbourne Cup as well as runner up in an Australian Cup. Odious who went on to win an Australian Cup in 1976, Carrington Jade won a Melbourne Cup in 1976. Cavalier Queen won the Adelaide Cup in 1977. Paua To Burn won the 2005 Easter Egg and 2004/ 2005 Group 1 Sapphire Crown. Plus two other winners are Hall of Fame superstars Winifred Bale and Sandi’s Me Mum. Listed below is the Laurels Classic Honour roll highlighted by so many stars that enjoyed outstanding careers.
Laurels Classic Honour Roll
- 1989 Sandi’ Me Mum Gerry O’Keefe 8 511m 30.44
- 1990 Witchery R Miller 7 511m 30.81
- 1991 Barb’s Tune Alan Britton 8 511m 30.69
- 1992 To Perfection John Westerlo 8 511m 30.67
- 1993 Suzy Also D Mooney 2 511m 30.52
- 1994 Victorious Road Kay Taberner 7 511m 30.60
- 1995 Little Promise Robert Redenbach 4 511m 30.59
- 1996 Hanson Kelly Peter Dapiran 7 515m 30.47
- 1997 Moonambel Gem Graeme Bate 7 515m 30.26
- 1998 Chersam Honcho Garry Whelan 4 515m 30.22
- 1999 Labyrinth Stanley Ralph 1 515m 29.86
- 2000 Creative Whisky Troy Provost 7 515m 30.14
- 2001 Hail A Harley Graeme Bate 2 515m 29.98
- 2002 Katella Bale Graeme Bate 4 515m 30.17
- 2003 Dance Portrait Linda Britton 1 515m 30.21
- 2004 Paua to Burn Steven White 7 515m 29.58
- 2005 Maureen Shirly David Bartolo 3 515m 30.15
- 2006 Pure Burst Wayne Vassallo 3 515m 29.86
- 2007 Miss Hot Gossip Jason Thompson 1 515m 29.63
- 2008 Hybrid Theory Chris Darmanin 4 515m 30.00
- 2009 Boozeroo Verity Cotton 1 515m 29.74
- 2010 C’est La Vie Robert Britton 515m