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By Graham Potter | Friday, February 4, 2022

It’s been a while between drinks, but all that matters is that the Melissa Taylor racing stable is back in the winner’s enclosure, courtesy of the strong showing of Vienna Empress, the horse Taylor herself selected as a yearling, who took out a Class I Plate over 1000m at the Sunshine Coast on February 4, 2022.

Vienna Empress ($5), who carried the lucky (for some) number thirteen saddle cloth, jumped cleanly and took up a watching brief in third spot just a couple of lengths behind the $31 outsider Naytellrhi Bird and the $2.10 favourite Soul Spirit who were making the play up front.

Jockey Craig Robertson edged Vienna Empress closer and wider as the field came to the home turn leaving the daughter of Holy Roman Emperor with a clear run to the line down the home stretch … but there was still ground to make up.

For a brief moment on straightening Vienna Empress wanted to hang out and that meant that she needed a few extra strides before she settled back into a smooth rhythm which then allowed her to set about tackling the task at hand with meaning.

By the 200m mark Vienna Empress was in full cry and about to hit the lead. Naytellrhi Bird had cried enough. Soul Spirit was fighting on and Clairvue Lady (the $3.60 second favourite) was trying to steal a march along the inside, but it quickly became apparent that Vienna Empress had them all covered as Robertson urged his mount along with vigour to move 0.80 lengths clear of Soul Spirit who stayed on to claim second place.

Vienna Empress, who was second-up here, was winning for the second time in twelve starts but the fact that she has placed in the first three in five of her twelve starts … and placed fourth on another three occasions … underlines both her honesty and the fact that her second career victory was well deserved.

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Photos: Graham Potter
Photos: Graham Potter
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