IT HAD been hard to beat Trapeze Artist and Le Romain for a number of seasons, but star mare Alizee toyed with them at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Alizee sat off the speed and when Blake Shinn produced her in the straight she went past them with ease to record a comfortable two-length win from Le Romain, with Dothraki third and Trapeze Artist fourth.
In winning, the James Cummings-trained four-year-old announced herself as one of the best horses in the country.
"She's a serious animal and to see her perform like that at weight-for-age is a big thrill," Cummings said.
"To see here come past horses like Trapeze Artist and Le Romain with that sort of comfort is extremely impressive.
"She cruised up to them in an Expressway and she's looked so good in going about her work. Her stablemate Hartnell has been beaten by Trapeze Artist, so that's good form for him stepping up in trip next time."
Cummings next wants to send Alizee to the Group 1 Futurity Stakes at Caulfield on February 23 and off Saturday's run she should be good enough to then get a start in the $5 million All-Star Mile at Flemington on March 16.
"I'm pretty pumped up about the rest of her preparation," Cummings said. "Gosh, if she can look as impressive as that at the 1400m at Caulfield she's going to be the horse to beat."
To make the win more impressive, she did it on a Soft 7 surface.
"She's never gone that well on a track that soft," Cummings said. "I was very flat waking up this morning to this sort of track, which ended up worse than we expected. The horses she had to beat had wet-track credentials.
"If we get her back up on top of the ground at Caulfield she'll be lethal."
Shinn was lost for words trying to explain how good the Godolphin mare was.
"It was like a track gallop out there. You don't have to be Einstein to work out how great her turn of foot is," he said.
"I barely even moved in her and she really enjoyed the confidence I tried to give her. She can sprint and do it up to a mile.
"She settled well and I tried to hold her together in the wet ground. There were signs that she's got improvement in her and that run will bring her on."
Le Romain was again runner-up in a big race, and slightly unlucky after missing the kick and not being able to get forward and inject more speed into the race.
James McDonald said he shouldn't be ignored for the rest of his preparation.
"It was a fantastic return. He is well on track and he's going as good as ever," McDonald said.
Tim Clark said the race just wasn't run to suit for Trapeze Artist.
"They went to slow and he just over travels a little bit. He is a better horse with high pressure and he's never loved that ground either," he said.