Step with Francis' Empress
Everal Francis' speedy filly, EMPRESS HALL, has a feather to tote and will have to be caught with maximum 49.0 kilos in Wednesday's Monday Morning Trophy feature at 1400 metres.
Drawn nicely at post-position 14 among 15 runners, EMPRESS HALL should have an easier race than the big effort she laid down in the Thornbird Stakes, on only her second outing, a week-and-a-half ago.
Carrying 51.0 kilos, EMPRESS HALL broke sharply but had to bide her time, coming down from the high draw, kept wide by the likes of MARLENE MY LOVE, GREAT FAITH, FORT KNOX, RUNALLDAY and THORNHILL MISS.
EMPRESS HALL gradually settled third at the half mile, going past rivals and showed good pace to relegate GREAT FAITH and go in chase of MARLENE MY LOVE, while MONEY MAGNET saved ground along the rail in third.
Forced to run wide off the turn by MARLENE MY LOVE on her inside, EMPRESS HALL was right there, disputing splits of 1:11.3, having the eventual winner, SHE'S A MANEATER, still behind her with a furlong-and-a-half to run.
Though she weakened back into sixth place, finishing 10 lengths behind the winner, EMPRESS HALL's first effort on the round course against the best of her peers suggests her speed could have slower rivals in problems at 1400 metres.
Getting weight all around from the main colts in the race - RADICAL (52.5), MALACHI (54.0) and WONG DON (51.0) - EMPRESS HALL is light enough to steal a march on rivals. On her December 17 debut, she won at 1000 metres straight in 58.4.
Bred to just about get the distance, the speedy filly is sired by Emperor Hall, who has a similar running style, which he used to win grade one races such as the 2000-metre Prime Minister's Stakes and Imported Mile.