Va Via a class above in the Black Pearl at Geelong

Godolphin’s decision to target the relocated Black Pearl Stakes paid dividends when the four-year-old secured a valuable Black Type win at Geelong on Saturday.

The James Cummings-trained mare proved too classy for her rivals when a dominant winner of the $200,000 Listed event.

The Black Pearl Stakes moved from Geelong Cup Day to the new feature meeting this season and winning jockey Damian Lane said it came up at a good time for the daughter of Astern who strung together a winning hat-trick last campaign.

“I think she came along way in her last racing preparation, where early in the prep she preferred to be ridden quietly, but then as she progressed she was able to race more handy,” Lane said.

“She’s very versatile and she got in so well today under the set-weights conditions.”

Va Via settled midfield on the inside but Lane was able to plot a path through the field rounding the home turn and had her in clear air shortly after straightening.

The heavily-backed $2.15 betting sites favourite powered away to score a soft two-length win over Danny’s St Darci ($15), who was a length clear of third placegetter Megamea ($41).

“She was able to begin well enough to hold a reasonable position, then she just travelled so sweetly,” Lane said.

“As she’s shown previously, her turn of foot is her best strength and she sprinted really strongly.”

Va Via has now won five of her 20 starts with Saturday’s $120,000 winner’s cheque taking her earnings to $478,275.

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