Star and Marquand shine bright in rescheduled Inglis Millennium
China Horse Club-owned colt provides Freedman brothers with their biggest success as a training duo to cap big week for Fairview Park Stud
Twenty-four hours on from a successful foray at the Inglis Classic Yearling Sale, the China Horse Club and their head of 通博手机app下载 Michael Wallace saw the investment made at last year’s auction bear fruit as Prime Star (Starspangledbanner) landed the rescheduled Inglis Millennium (RL, 1100m) at Warwick Farm.
Wallace signed for three high-priced lots across at this year’s Classic sale, spending $450,000 on two colts in conjunction with Newgate 通博手机app下载 and $320,000 alongside both Newgate and Starlight Racing for a highly-prized son of Deep Field (Northern Meteor) on Sunday.
However, it was the relatively cheap Prime Star – a $55,000 purchase alongside co-trainer Michael Freedman at the corresponding auction in 2019 – who grabbed the lion’s share of yesterday’s $2 million prize for his syndicate headed by the China Horse Club, providing Freedman and his brother Richard with their biggest success as a training duo in their first full season in partnership together.
The Inglis Millennium had originally been programmed for Saturday, but was washed away by the torrential rainfall that hit Sydney towards the end of last week. With the wet weather persisting, yesterday’s meeting was only given the green light following a further inspection on race-day morning.
As such, Prime Star’s victory was achieved by a neck in atrocious underfoot conditions, but the win was another feather in the cap of visiting British rider Tom Marquand, whose successful Sydney stint also includes a Group 3 double on the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained duo Away Game (Snitzel) and Prague (Redoute’s Choice) on February 1.
Their stable companion Cellsabeel (Hinchinbrook), who had been red-hot favourite for the Inglis Millennium following her six-length Rosehill romp last month, was predictably scratched at the eleventh-hour, as Maher suggested she would be, with the promising juvenile set to line up in Saturday week’s Silver Slipper Stakes (Gr 2, 1100m).
Her defection gave yesterday’s contest an open look and the finish was dominated by on-speed horses who were deep in the betting, with $18 chance Prime Star getting the better of the Lindsay Park-trained Bella Nipotina (Pride Of Dubai) ($8.50).
Larimer Street (Brazen Beau) ($19) was a further length back in third for Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young, while $4.40 favourite Marnix (Written Tycoon) ran tenth for Godolphin, beaten seven and three-quarter lengths.
There was drama before the race with Fayerra (Valentia) and Slice Of Heaven (Rubick) both being scratched late at the barrier, but Marquand acknowledged how the heavy 9 surface was the crucial factor in determining yesterday’s result.
“To be fair, it was in the lap of the gods today as to what handled the ground,” he said.
“Credit where credit’s due, they brought the horse here and were ballsy enough to give it a go and it’s paid off.”
Marquand, who will return to Britain following Saturday’s meeting at Randwick, is set to fly back to Australia next month with a view to riding in the Golden Slipper Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m) at Rosehill on March 21, a trip that could be extended with momentum on his side.
“I’m planning a bit of a return around the middle of March, currently for a week but it may be a good bit longer, all being well,” he said.
“There are some massive targets and while I’m getting the opportunities I may as well make hay while the sun shines.”
A jubilant Michael Freedman suggested the blinkered Prime Star, who cornered three-deep yesterday and showed a fine attitude for a two-year-old, is unlikely to make next month’s Golden Slipper, for all the progressive juvenile is now set for a rise in class.
“For a $55,000 purchase last year, it’s just a big thrill for Richard and I and all the team back at home,” Freedman said.
“We will have to rethink what we do with him from here. If he comes through today OK we will certainly look at some of the upcoming two-year-old races.
“He’s probably still a long way off getting into a Slipper or anything like that, but there are lots of races for two-year-olds outside the Slipper.”
Like the $320,000 Deep Field colt purchased by Wallace, Newgate and Starlight, Prime Star was offered by Fairview Thoroughbreds, who sold 13 of their 14 offered yearlings for an aggregate of $1,208,000 at this year’s Classic sale.
“Classic is our main sale so to produce the winner of the Millennium in just its second year is a real feather in our cap,’’ Fairview Park’s Linda Duckworth said.
“Like everyone you work hard, it’s just great, great for the team, great for the farm and I’m super excited for the breeders Chris and Lynne Lawlor, who are fantastic clients of ours.’’
Breaking his maiden at his fourth start yesterday, Prime Star (2 g Starspangledbanner – Barinka by Shinko King) has now amassed $1,209,000 in prize-money having finished second on a further two occasions.
He is the best-performed of four winners out of Barinka (Shinko King), who numbered among her eight victories a neck success in the 2011 running of the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (Gr 1, 1600m).
This is also the family of Group 2 winner Tawlord (Tafiq) and Singapore stakes scorer Ferrous Cardio (Amyntor).
Rather fittingly, Barinka has a filly foal by Deep Field and was served by Dundeel (High Chaparral) on November 30. Her yearling filly by Kermadec (Teofilo) will be offered at next month’s Inglis Premier Yearling Sale, going through the draft of Maluka Thoroughbreds as Lot 43. https://inglis.com.au/sales/info/2020+Melbourne+Premier+Yearling+Sale/catalogue/43
Progressive Rubisaki sprints to big pay-day
Improving filly Rubisaki (Rubick) came with a withering late surge to land yesterday’s $1 million Inglis 3YO Sprint (1200m) later on the Warwick Farm card.
Trained by Patrick Payne, last season’s Taj Rossi Series Final (Listed, 1600m) runner-up appeared to be in a compromising position at halfway, but she went from seventh to first within the space of 200 metres and eventually won eased-down by a length and a half under Billy Egan.
Returning the $3.30 favourite following a first-up success in a Flemington handicap last month, Rubisaki has now won five of her seven starts. She proved too strong for the Gregory Hickman-trained Rari (Sizzling) ($14) yesterday, with Chris Waller’s True Detective (Shamus Award) ($4.80) a further neck away in third.
“She was really suited to the speed and the drop back in distance. The little freshen up and the travel up here really brought her on, so credit to Paddy,” Egan said before dashing off to Melbourne to ride the unplaced Keymaster (Oratorio) at Sandown’s twilight fixture.
“She is an absolute sweetheart and she gives you everything she’s got so she deserved it.”
Part-owner Joe O’Neill suggested Rubisaki could press on to the Surround Stakes (Gr 1, 1400m) at Randwick on February 29 if the wet weather continues, while Payne admitted he was uncertain as to whether Rubisaki was capable of cutting it with yesterday’s opposition.
“She’s got good ability. I wasn’t sure if she was quite up to the class but her attitude just carries her a long way,” Payne said.
Rubisaki (3 f Rubick – Senro Kisaki by Danehill Dancer) was purchased by Prime Thoroughbreds at the Inglis Classic Yearling Sale in 2018, realising $85,000 from the draft of Edinburgh Park. She has now accrued $853,800 in prize-money, while Prime Thoroughbreds purchased four yearlings at this year’s Classic sale for an aggregate of $450,000.
From the first crop of Coolmore stallion Rubick (Encosta De Lago), who is also the sire of recently-retired The Everest (1200m) winner Yes Yes Yes, Rubisaki is one of four named foals, all of whom have won, out of the two-time winner Senro Kisaki (Danehill Dancer).
Her second dam, Liefling (Alleged), is a winning half-sister to French stakes scorer River Cara (Irish River).
Since foaling Rubisaki, Senro Kisaki has produced a yearling colt by Sizzling (Snitzel) and a filly foal by So You Think (High Chaparral). She was served again by Rubick on December 13.