At Flemington racecourse in Melbourne, Coolmore's former Gr1-winning Champion Australian Sire Fastnet Rock (Danehill-Piccadilly Circus, by Royal Academy) added a Group race success when highly talented 3YO Australian-bred filly Bleu Roche (Fastnet Rock-Esprit de Bleu, by Littleexpectations) opened her stakes account when putting on an exhibition of sustained speed to win the $200,000 Gr3 Red Roses Stakes (1100m) for 3YO fillies, defeating Causeway Girl & Meryl. Bleu Roche, who was purchased by her trainer Matt Laurie for $230,000 at the 2017 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale from the draft of Newgate Farm, improved her record to 2 wins and 1 placing from 4 starts for $149,750 in earnings. Trainer Matt Laurie said Bleu Roche's class got her over the line. "She's a pretty good horse. Her run at Moonee Valley the other day was enormous so I was a little worried she may have spent all her energy ten days ago, but she's backed that up with a great performance," Laurie told racing.com. "Fourth start, first prep, now a Group winning filly - we have a lot to look forward to." Laurie said Bleu Roche would be considered for all the top Gr1 sprinting races in the autumn. "Everything is on the cards," he said. "She is obviously a class filly so we will be looking at some smart races."
At Caulfield in Melbourne, Widden Stud stallion and former 3YO champion Australian sprinter Zoustar (Northern Meteor-Zouzou, by Redoute's Choice) added a Group race success when high class 3YO Australian-bred filly Sunlight (Zoustar-Solar Charged, by Charge Forward) overcame a wide draw to post a strong front-running victory in the $150,000 Gr3 Thoroughbred Club Stakes (1200m) for 3YO fillies, defeating Humma Humma & Meryl. Sunlight, a $300,000 yearling at the 2017 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale from the draft of Widden Stud, advanced her record to 7 wins (including the Gr2 Silver Slipper Stakes, Gr3 Quezette Stakes, Gr3 Magic Night Stakes & Magic Millions 2YO Classic on the Gold Coast) and 3 placings (including the Gr1 Golden Slipper & Listed Maribyrnong Trial Stakes) from 10 starts for $2,370,950 in earnings. Trainer Tony McEvoy said Sunlight will now head to the $1 million Gr1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on 26 October. "I'm thinking the Manikato with her," McEvoy told racing.com. "51 kilograms around Moonee Valley, she'll take some catching and a lot of the horses that are going to be in that race will be running around on a heavy track up in Sydney today."
At Melbourne’s Moonee Valley, Darley's dual Gr1-winning young sire Epaulette (Commands-Accessories, by Singspiel) added a black-type success when 3YO filly Meryl (Epaulette-Academy Idol, by Made Of Gold) scored by 1.5-length for trainer Lee Curtis in the $150,000 Gr3 Scarborough Stks (1200m) for 3YO fillies, defeating fellow fillies Sweet Rockette and Humma Humma. Coming off a runner-up in Sydney’s Listed Heritage Stakes and having her first start the Melbourne way of going, Magic Millions 2YO Classic runner Meryl was a $150,000 yearling consigned by Riversdale at the 2017 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale. The confidence boosting win for Meryl improved her record to 2 wins (including Brisbane’s Gr3 BJ McLachlan Stakes) and a runner-up from 7 starts for $302,750 earnings, giving Curtis plenty of reasons to keep her in Melbourne. “There’s another fillies race at Caulfield in two weeks and then there’s a stakes race at Flemington on Oaks day,” he said.
At Royal Randwick in Sydney, Darley's Gr1 Golden Rose Stakes-winning stallion Denman (Lonhro-Peach, by Vain) added a black-type success when 3YO Australian-bred colt Ragged Rascal (Denman-M'Lady Pedrille, by Al Maher) opened his stakes account when storming home for an eye-catching last-to-first win in the $140,000 Listed Heritage Stakes (1100m) for 3YOs, defeating Meryl & Charge. Ragged Rascal, a $160,000 purchase by his trainer Paul Perry at the 2017 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale, improved his record to 2 wins and 2 placings (including the Listed (R) Inglis Nursery) from 9 starts for $208,120 in earnings.
By far and away Australia’s best maiden will wear blinkers tomorrow in an attempt to help her quest to be an official winner. According to AAP, 3YO filly Oohood (I Am Invincible-Bella Sunday, by Sunday Silence) last wore blinkers in the Gr1 Golden Slipper and Gr1 Sires Produce Stakes when bridesmaid on both occasions. She just missed the placings, for the first time, when fifth in the Gr2 Silver Shadow Stakes during her seasonal return, beaten nearly 2-lengths. Believing she’ll run a better race in tomorrow’s Furious Stakes, Oohood’s trainer Tony McEvoy noted, "She ran in the Slipper in the blinkers. I just thought she was getting a bit aggressive in them and I took them off, and I think it probably backfired a bit on me. So it's time for them to go back on." The Furious field includes impeccably-bred favourite Miss Fabulass (Frankel-Samantha Miss, by Redoute’s Choice), having her first start in stakes company. Such is the depth to the race, even $100 shot Meryl is not out of it, the Lee Curtis-trained filly finishing only 2.7-lengths behind Fiesta in the Silver Shadow.
If one was to pick a race for a Maiden 3YO filly to break the shackles, then Saturday's Silver Shadow Stakes at Royal Randwick is not exactly where most trainers would look. What makes the case different for Tony McEvoy is that Oohood, despite her winless status, is star material through and through – three Gr1 placings as a juvenile are testament to that. Won by Formality, Omei Sword and Speak Fondly in its last three renewals, the Silver Shadow is a quality race, and Oohhod, the $2.35 favourite, will need to be at her best to see off the likes of underrated Fiesta, speedy Meryl and dashing Queensland raider Outback Barbie. Neither Fernhill Stakes winner nor untapped Godolphin aspirant Laburnam are slouches either, so if Ooohood franks her market price she will have earned the right to tick the box that says winner.
At Doomben's Road to Magic Millions Raceday in Brisbane last Saturday, Darley's young sire Epaulette (Commands-Accessories, by Singspiel) sired his first stakes-winner when 2YO filly Meryl (Epaulette-Academy Idol, by Made of Gold) scored by 0.8-lengths for trainer Lee Curtis in the $200,000 Gr3 Magic Millions B.J.McLachlan Stakes (1200m) for 2YOs ahead of gelding Hopes Eternal (Jet Spur-Besame Mucho, by Encosta de Lago) & Witherspoon (Exceed and Excel-Girl Hussler, by Hussonet). Precocious enough to run in Sydney's Listed Gimcrack Stakes (where she finished just out of the placings) during September, Meryl has an all female ownership which means she is in the running for a share of the $500,000 Magic Millions Racing Women bonus which is on top of the $2 million purse for the Magic Millions 2YO Classic. Meryl was a $150,000 yearling consigned by Riversdale at the 2017 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale. Her Exceed and Excel half-brother is being sold by Riversdale at next week's Gold Coast sale. A dual Gr1 winner of the ATC Golden Rose Stakes and Doomben 10,000, Meryl's sire Epaulette is a three-quarter brother to record-breaking multiple Gr1-winning juvenile and fellow Darley stallion Helmet (Exceed And Excel).
Lee Somervell has confirmed that 2015 Gr1 Livamol Classic winner Addictive Habit has been retired after sustaining a tendon injury, reports NZ Racing Desk. "He's got a hole in his tendon twice the size of a pinhead about two inches below where he injured his tendon last time," said Somervell, who was planning on running the 8YO in tomorrow’s Listed Members Handicap (1400m) at Doomben. Somervell said Addictive Habit (Colombia-Chasing the Habit, by Sky Chase) had the perfect temperament to become a clerk of the course horse. "The vet treating him said if he was a younger horse there was a possibility he could race again but as an eight-year-old, the tendon doesn't repair the same. It's a sad day but a happy, sad day because it's an injury that won't stop him from coming back as a clerk of the course horse or something similar later on." Addictive Habit, whose dam was a half-sister to champion Kiwi galloper Rough Habit, won 11 of his 40 races, earning more than $771,000 for owners Graham and Isabel Roddick, Bill O'Brien, Colin and Anne Scott and Keith and Meryl Treadaway. "He won nearly three-quarters of a million dollars and he won a Group One race but probably my biggest thrill with him was winning the Coupland's Mile back-to-back," Somervell said. "He's been such a wonderful horse to have in the stable. Anybody who has anything to do with him falls in love with him."
Deceased former Grangewilliam Stud stallion Al Akbar (Success Express-Gala Night, by Blakeny) added a black type success when 5YO gelding Run Like Al (Al Akbar-Night Mare, by Mercury) scored by a head in the NZ$45,000 Listed Ag And Sprint Handicap (1400m) at Te Rapa. Run Like Al (ridden by Samantha Spratt for trainer Jakki Good) defeated 5YO mare Barinka (Shinko King-Hay Barlu, by Hay Baba Riba) & 4YO mare Latika (Bertolini-Meryl, by Imperial Seal). Run Like Al (a NZ$30,000 yearling at the 2006 NZB Select Sale) now has 5 wins (including last start's Gr3 Eagle Technology Stakes (1600m) at Ellerslie in Auckland) & 3 placings from 24 starts for NZ$178,535 earnings.