Castanya storms home to upstage the boys in Lonhro Plate

Annabel Neasham will give Castanya every chance to earn her way into the Golden Slipper after the filly took an important step with a sweeping victory in the Listed Lonhro Plate at Randwick.

The youngster’s performance franked the form of Slipper second favourite Switzerland, who she finished runner-up to on debut, while also stamping her as a horse to follow through the carnival.

As she did at her first start, Castanya ($9.50) settled well back in the field and had many lengths to make up at the top of the straight, but she rocketed to the line under Zac Lloyd to reel in Embassy ($4.40) by a long head with Anode ($3.80 fav) another three-quarters of a length away third.

“I wasn’t sure she was going to get there but that last stride she really dug deep,” Neasham said.

“Obviously we’ll see how she pulls up, but I think we’ll go to one of the fillies’ Slipper lead-ups. I think that’s surely got to have her in the picture now.

“She was second behind a smart one last time, I think she’s taken improvement today.”

Lloyd has been aboard Castanya in both her starts and says while she lacks tactical speed, she has a big finish to make up for it.

However, he admitted he was wary she may have already been looking for further than 1000 metres going into Saturday’s race.

“She’s a lovely filly, really push-button,” Lloyd said.

“After her first run we were very happy with the run, but we were just a bit worried about the 1000 metres again today.

“Once again she was run off her feet but the last 200 (metres) was very good.

“She’s still a bit all legs and she obviously doesn’t have that early toe like some of the other two-year-olds, but she’s got that flying finish. And the further she goes, the better she’ll be.”

Tommy Berry said Embassy did a great job at his first start after unexpectedly finding himself in front.

“The winner had race experience which was probably the difference,” Berry said.

Anode was forced to race wide from his awkward draw and jockey Adam Hyeronimus felt he was looking for further.

The fillies are amassing a good record in the Lonhro Plate and have now won the past five renewals.

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