MORE than two decades ago a ‘Johnny Come Lately’ by the name of Adam Hamilton was in raptures over wonder filly Tailamade Lombo.
Clearly the best of her crop in Australasia, Tailamade Lombo had 33 starts as a two and three-year-old for 23 wins and seven placings.
Although the daughter Troublemaker had won a host of features, including two Australian Pacing Gold Finals and three state Oaks, it was her performance in the New South Wales Derby which had Hamilton singing Tailamade Lombo’s praise.
Tailamade Lombo finished second behind top New Zealand gelding Holmes D G in the Blue Riband, which prompted Hamilton to declare her as potentially the greatest filly of all-time.
Such a bold statement didn’t sit well with respected scribe Bob Cain, who instantly jumped to the defence of champion mare Argent.
Sure Tailamade Lombo did well to be runner-up, but Argent won the Derby in 1956!
Argent also secured a heat of the classic as well as a heat and the Final of the Victoria Derby.
The Jack McKay-trained freak also won the New South Wales and Victoria Oaks and remains the only filly to secure the four majors.
On top of that, Argent won three races against open age company at the Ascot Vale Showgrounds – including her first start for the season!
Amazingly on January 6, 1956 – just five months into her three-year-old campaign and first-up from a spell – Argent beat her older rivals as the 4/5 favourite.
Leading throughout, the filly accounted for Summer Van and Pay Load, which went on to win the Hunter Cup, in 2:09.2 over 11 furlongs.
On the same card, Cheyenne scored in the fast class event in 2:11.8 over a similar distance.
Fast forward to 2021 and a veteran Hamilton is pumped about boom three-year-old Ladies In Red…and for good reason.
Trained by record-breaking horsewoman Emma Stewart, Ladies In Red boasts the impeccable record of 10 wins and a second from 11 starts.
Stating the daughter of Mach Three is “as good as any Aussie filly I’ve seen”, Hamilton fell short of the rave reviews he bestowed upon Tailamade Lombo.
Successful in Ballarat a fortnight ago when first-up from a nine-month spell, Ladies In Red will return to the same venue on Saturday night, ironically for the Argent Classic in which she has drawn the outside of the front row.
“As great as she was last season, she always looked like a filly who would blossom at three,” Hamilton said. “Judging by her arrogant first-up win, she’s in for a mighty campaign.
“She’s as talented a filly as I’ve seen and potentially as good, or better, than any of them.
“Tailamade Lombo remains my benchmark filly, but I won’t dare go further back to Argent or other greats.
“I’ve learnt my lesson from the late, great Bobby Cain on that front!”