At Moonee Valley in Victoria, French 2000 Guineas & French Derby-winning shuttler Lope De Vega (Shamardal-Lady Vettori, by Vettori) added a Group race success when 4YO mare Spanish Reef (Lope De Vega-Lemon Reef, by Lemon Drop Kid) scored by 2.8-lengths for trainer Ken Keys in the $200,000 Gr2 Sunline Stakes (1600m) for 3YO+ fillies and mares, defeating fellow 4YO mares Samovare & Flying Jess. Continuing her rivalry with Samovare who she defeated by less than a length two weeks ago in the Gr3 Scwheppervescence Trophy (1600m) at Flemington, this time the result was unequivocal for the favourite. Jumping well from her outside stall to camp just off Tasmanian mare Life On The Wire, Spanish Reef never looked like getting beaten at any stage and was eased down by Mark Zahra with 25m to run. A $12,500 bargain buy at the 2014 Magic Millions Patinack Farm Dispersal Sale, consistent Spanish Reef took her record to 5 wins and 5 placings from 13 starts for $420,200 earnings. Having now well and truly got the figurative stakes race monkey off her back with a Group race double, Spanish Reef's connections will be dreaming of bigger prizes ahead. Included in those is next month's Gr1 Coolmore Legacy Stakes run during The Championships. Suggesting she'll be tipped out after her Sydney sojourn, Keys revealed, "I want to keep [her] at a mile for the time being but when she gets out to 2000 metres and even a mile and a half I think you'll find she's even better."
At Flemington in Melbourne, French 2000 Guineas & French Derby-winning shuttler Lope De Vega (Shamardal-Lady Vettori, by Vettori) added a Group race success when 4YO mare Spanish Reef (Lope de Vega-Lemon Reef, by Lemon Drop Kid) sat on a moderate speed and sprinted clear of her rivals to win the $150,000 Gr3 Schweppervescence Trophy (1600m) with something in hand over Samovare & Jester Halo. Spanish Reef took her record to 4 wins and 5 placings from 12 starts for $298,700 earnings. She was a bargain $12,500 2014 Magic Millions Patinack Farm Dispersal Sale yearling purchase and descends from a US family that includes Gr3 winning second dam Storm Dream and UK Gr3 winning middle-distance gelding Border Arrow.
At Caulfield in Melbourne, Yarradale Stud shuttler War Chant (War Chant (Danzig-Hollywood Wildcat, by Kris S) added a Group race success when 5YO Australian-bred mare Silent Sedition (War Chant-Fiorentina, by Dubai Destination) led her rivals a merry dance when successfully defending her title in the $150,000 Gr3 Mannerism Stakes (1400m) for 4YO+ mares, defeating Samovare & Montoya's Secret. Silent Sedition advanced her record to 7 wins (including the Gr1 William Reid Stakes, Gr3 Mannerism Stakes, Gr3 Summoned Stakes, Gr3 Schweppervescence Stakes & Listed Bendigo Guineas) and 9 placings (including the Gr1 Coolmore Classic & Gr1 Australasian Oaks) from 22 starts for $1,111,150 in earnings. Silent Sedition, whose dam is a half-sister to Gr1 Dubai World Cup winner Monterosso from the Gr1 Coolmore Classic winner Porto Roca, was purchased for the bargain price of $45,000 at the 2014 Magic Millions Perth Yearling Sale from the draft of Korilya Stud.
At Caulfield racecourse in Melbourne, Darley's unbeaten multiple Gr1-winning stallion Reset (Zabeel-Assertive Lass, by Zeditave) added a Group race success when 4YO chestnut gelding Kiwia (Reset-Single View, by Danehill Dancer) claimed his first stakes victory in the $150,000 Gr3 Coongy Cup (2000m) for 3YO+, defeating Samovare & Maurus. Bred and raced by Gerry Ryan's Limerick Lane Thoroughbreds, Kiwia continues to build an imposing record which now stands at 6 wins and 3 placings from 10 starts for $382,650 in earnings. Trainer Darren Weir said Kiwia was likely to heads towards the Bendigo Cup.
At Caulfield in Melbourne, 6YO UK-bred entire Harlem (Champs Elysees-Casual, by Nayef) earned himself an automatic entry in the Caulfield Cup when posting his first stakes victory since arriving in Australia in the $150,000 Gr3 MRC Foundation Cup (2000m) for 3YO+, defeating Samovare & Stampede. Harlem, who was a £520,000 purchase at the 2016 Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training Sale, improved his record to 3 wins (inclcuding the Listed Prix Frederic de Lagrange) and 3 placings (including the Gr2 MRC Blamey Stakes) from $289,708 in earnings. "We thought this might be short still for him. His form over in Europe was over further," co-trainer Ben Hayes told racing.com. "Look out Caulfield Cup." The $3.15 million Gr1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) will be run at Caulfield on 21 October.
At Ascot in Perth, West Australia, Waikato Stud's Cox Plate winning stallion Savabeel (Zabeel-Savannah Success, by Success Express) added a Group success when 3YO filly Samovare (Savabeel-Sambar, by More Than Ready) scored by 1 length for trainer Daniel Morton in the $200,000 Gr3 WA Champion Fillies Stakes (1600m) for 3YO fillies, over fellow fillies Ellicazoom (Testa Rossa-Ellicorsam, by Fimiston) & I Am Boudica (War Chant-Queen's Gem, by Hussonet). The beautifully bred Samovare - who hails from the family of champion 3YO and Victoria Derby & Cox Plate winner Taj Rossi and Golden Slipper winner Dark Eclipse - improved her record to 2 wins and 2 placings (including the Listed WATC Burgess Queen Stakes) from 5 starts for $175,400 earnings.