Geisel Park star flying with Fernie

Tuesday, 2 April 2024 | Geisel Park giant-killer Laced Up Heels returned to winning form with a vengeance in the Mrs Mac’s Hcp (1200m) at Ascot on Easter Saturday.

The Toronado (Ire) mare collared the leaders close to the post while shouldering 60kg and then denied late-closer Saloon Bar (Sessions) in a blanket finish to a race that will stand as a reliable form-line for the rest of the autumn carnival.

Laced Up Heels (red silks) dives right on the line in a four-way finish at Ascot
(Photo / Western Racepix)

Laced Up Heels had been dining out on a celebrated victory over Amelia’s Jewel in the LR Burgess Queen Stakes (1400m) at Ascot on 1 November 2022.

French stayer Gold Trip (Outstrip) had stopped the nation earlier that day at Flemington and the Geisel Park filly stopped Perth punters in their tracks when she inflicted the first defeat on their favourite filly.

She transferred to Melbourne for six starts last year but couldn’t fill a place.

Admittedly she was up against top-class opposition while Amelia’s Jewel went to another level at home winning the Group 1 Northerly Stakes (1800m) from British-bred raiders Ironclad (Dubawi) and Steinem (Frankel).

Reunited with trainer Luke Fernie, Laced Up Heels came from another post-code for a first-up third in the $350,000 Bluff Knoll (1099m) at Albany on March 10 and had kept improving behind the scenes at Ascot.

“She’s a class horse and class horses can carry weight,” Fernie said as Geisel Park owner Eddie Rigg led his star mare back to scale.  “She races best when fresh and we won’t be stretching her out this prep.  She beat a good one today and I know Danny (Morton) has a high opinion of Saloon Bar.”

Laced Up Heels (4m Toronado – A City Girl by Exceed And Excel) was a $100,000 buy for Rigg at the 2021 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.  She hails from a WA family through second-dam Lady Knockout (Serheed) who won the 2002 Belmont Guineas – Belmont Oaks double before going to Melbourne to claim the G3 Matron Stakes (1600m) at Flemington.

Winning jockey Chris Parnham believes Laced Up Heels can improve again off that second-up deliverance on Saturday.  “She’s tough and courageous and can sustain a sprint.  That will suit her in a high-pressure race with the speed on from the start.”

Fernie raised the option of a suitable target in the $5 million The Quokka (1200m) on April 20.  Amelia’s Jewel is the $3.80 pre-post market-leader while Laced Up Heels is at $13 but write her off at your own peril.

It wouldn’t be the first time she’s brought a hot favourite to Heel at Ascot.

 

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