Miss Finland's daughter Stay With Me almost a chip off the old block

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Miss Finland she may not be, but John Messara is convinced there is a touch of her Golden Slipper-winning mother in Stay With Me.

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"They have the same racing style and I think Miss Finland was more bulkier and a solid horse whereas this one [Stay With Me] is more athletic," the Arrowfield Stud boss said.

"They might be slightly different physically, but they've got the same mentality.

In good company: Stay With Me is hoping to add to the legacy created by her mother Miss Finland.
In good company: Stay With Me is hoping to add to the legacy created by her mother Miss Finland.  Photo: Getty Images

"They're both kind animals, but have got a little bit of personality if you annoy them. They love to come home with a finishing burst. [Stay With Me] is taking longer to mature, but she's a good filly."

As good as Miss Finland? That might be played out in the autumn.


Entries have been lodged for the Coolmore Classic, Queen Of The Turf and even a "speculative" one for the Doncaster Mile.

But co-trainer David Hayes and Messara will be hoping she can first add the Light Fingers Stakes, the fillies' group 2 race at Randwick on Saturday, to the Thousand Guineas success in the spring.

"What you've got to remember with the Myer [Classic in spring] is that it was a horrible track," said Hayes, who works in partnership with his nephew Tom Dabernig. "She was one of the few horses on the day to make ground.

"But you can't give her an inch in the first 200 metres either. It caught out [Dwayne] Dunn once, it caught out Hugh Bowman in the Slipper lead-up. He sneezed on her and the acceleration she showed to go around them was there right away. If you save that for the last 300 she can outsprint most horses.

"She trialled very well in a group 1 trial - and she's improved out of it which is what we expected. I think the barrier means you can expect her to be ridden patiently. I'm pretty confident and she'll run very well."

Having graduated from the same Victorian maiden as Pasadena Girl - who herself turned into a Randwick group 1 winner - Stay With Me will shoulder 56kg under Kerrin McEvoy in the Light Fingers and looks attractively weighted against her less credentialled rivals.

"David Hayes has been so bullish about her," Messara said. "We sent her down thinking she would be a good filly, but from the moment David started doing something with her he kept telling us how she was impressing him.

"We're not going to jump ahead of ourselves and at the moment we'll follow the three-year-old route, but if she becomes dominant we might look to greener pastures against the mares at weight-for-age."

Ladbrokes are treading warily with Godolphin's unbeaten filly Ghisoni a narrow $3.60 favourite ahead of Kangarilla Joy ($3.80). Stay With Me is on the third line of betting at $4.

Hayes' chances of a feature race double may rest with Dibayani, who is rated a $9 chance to spoil Cox Plate heroine Winx's ($1.50) return to the track in the group 2 Apollo Stakes.

"His trial was very good and I think he will improve a lot," Hayes said. "I'm not saying he will beat the Cox Plate winner, but he will sit back and finish off."

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