At Rosehill Gardens in Sydney, Darley's former Champion Australian Sire Exceed And Excel (Danehill-Patrona, by Lomond) added a Group race success when 2YO Australian-bred colt Performer (Exceed and Excel-Gavroche, by Snippets) maintained his perfect record when resuming with a hard fought win in the $150,000 Gr3 Canonbury Stakes (1100m) for 2YO colts & geldings, defeating Stratosphere & Exceltic. The highly regarded Performer extended his unbeaten record to 2 wins (including the Listed Arrowfield Breeders' Plate) from 2 starts for $192,000 in earnings. Trainer Chris Waller said Performer would make his next appearance in the Gr2 Todman Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on 10 March before his grand final in the $3.5 million Gr1 Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on 24 March. "I was happy at the 100 metres but concerned the last five," Waller told Sky Racing. "But he is still learning and is where I want him to be." He added: "We will stick to the plan to give him a barrier trial and then run him in the Todman Stakes two weeks before the Slipper." Purchased by Harras Syndicate & Mulcaster Bloodstock for $450,000 at the 2017 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale from the draft of Newhaven Park, Performer is a half-brother to multiple Group winner and Gr1 Galaxy winner Bel Sprinter (Bel Esprit). TAB currently has Performer as an $8 second favourite for the Golden Slipper behind boom Victorian filly Sunlight at $6.
Laurel Oak Bloodstock is set to have it’s first-ever runner in the $150,000 Listed Breeders’ Plate (1000m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday. The Gary Portelli-trained colt Exceltic will represent Laurel Oak in what is the first 2YO race of the season for colts and geldings. Purchased by Laurel Oak for $120,000 at the 2017 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale, Exceltic is by Coolmore's triple Gr1-winning stallion Excelebration out of the Shamardal mare Offshore Sham. This is the family of Gr1 Winfield Classic (now Coolmore Classic) winner Acushla Marie and Listed winners Kalamata and Kirvinsky. Exceltic, who will be ridden by superstar jockey Joao Moreira, has showed good ability to date winning an 800m trial at Warwick Farm on 8 September.