Luke Currie rides Roomooz to victory (Image: Racing Photos)
Tony McEvoy was relieved but not surprised when Roomooz earned a narrow result over Tulip in what might prove to be a hot form race at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
The Johnnie Walker Plate (1200m) was only a field of six, but it oozed class - and Roomooz oozed the most, ever so slightly for Luke Currie and McEvoy.
McEvoy had been bullish about Roomooz's chances in the lead-up to her first-up in her three-year-old season, and she turned the tables on her previous meeting with Tulip - the Blue Diamond Stakes - when the Coolmore-owned filly had her measure by 1.75 lengths in February.
But McEvoy said the autumn Roomooz was different to the one he's spotted in the spring as he lines her up for the Group 1 Thousand Guineas via the Prelude, with her next run being back at The Valley for the Listed Atlantic Jewel Stakes on September 9.
"She's faster than most of my others," McEvoy said post-race.
"I've had a high regard of her for a long time.
"What I was asking her to do in the autumn was a touch soon, but when they've got such ability, you press on when they're sound and well.
"I really felt she improved tremendously through her break.
"She got a bit lost in front today, but the formlines are extremely strong.
"That was a cracking fillies' race, and I'm proud of her."
WATCH: Roomooz just beat Tulip
Of the long-term Guineas goal, McEvoy said the bloodlines backed in his belief Roomooz will stick the mile trip.
"She's right up there - she's been in the top bunch all the way through. Certainly my best filly," he added.
"In a year's time, she'll be better again.
"Pedigree says a mile - her mother was a very good mare, Pane In The Glass, she was a Group winner at a mile - and by Fastnet Rock, it won't be an issue."
Craig Williams, just edged out aboard the Lindsay Park-trained Tulip, was very happy with the run despite the defeat.
"I thought she went excellent. She over-raced a bit early. You swap barriers, you swap positions, you swap results," Williams said.
"She's first-up, she's going to improve a lot. She finished off really well, unfortunately we didn't get the desired result."