Crowning Performance is Right Response

Greg Tobin - Aushorse

It’s somewhat fitting that the final Group One race of the 2017/18 season – Saturday’s $500,000 Sky Racing Tatt’s Tiara over 1350m at Doomben – should also be one of the strongest.

Among the 16 mares lining up for the Tiara were Super Cash and Champagne Cuddles, second and third respectively in the Stradbroke two weeks earlier, Miss Wilson, Invincibella and Savanna Amour – stakes winners at their most recent outings – plus March’s Group One Coolmore Classic victor Daysee Doom.

However, it would be the Gai Waterhouse/Adrian Bott trained Prompt Response who would be sent out favourite for the race at $4.20. And deservedly so.

The 4YO mare is a three time Group Two winner – the Emancipation, Breeders Classic and Dane Ripper – along with the Listed Twilight Glow in Melbourne, but had twice been edged out at Group One level, including a neck second to Tycoon Tara in last year’s Tiara.

Prompt Response wasn’t to be denied this time around though, opening up a break with 250m to go and holding on strongly to win with over a length to spare.

The victory took Prompt Response’s tally to six wins and 11 placings from 27 starts for $1,481,350 in stakes. Indeed, only one of her outings – her maiden win in April 2016 – wasn’t at black type level.

The stage now appears to be set for Prompt Reponse to campaign for the $13 million The Everest in October.

The Tiara win also continues a remarkable season for Julian Blaxland’s Blue Sky Bloodstock, whose success stories in 2018, apart from Prompt Response, include Group Two Sires’ Produce Stakes winner Lean Mean Machine and dual Doomben stakes winner Whypeeo - while Magic Millions 2YO Classic/Silver Slipper winner and Golden Slipper third, Sunlight, is likewise a Blue Sky yearling buy (purchased for $300,000 with Tony McEvoy on behalf of Aquis Farm).

“It’s been a terrific season for our 2YOs – 13 individual winners so far which equals last year’s benchmark – but Prompt Response’s Tiara is really special,” Blaxland points out.

“Ron Hamer, who bred Prompt Response, was my very first client when Blue Sky started back in 2006 and I ended up buying Prompt Response’s dam, Prompt, for $45,000 on Ron’s behalf at the 2011 Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale.

“Her first foal for Ron was a Statue of Liberty that raced in Hong Kong and won six races, while her second, Prompt Return, was a colt by Beneteau and the full brother to Prompt Response.

“Blue Sky was a part-owner of (2YO Group winner) Beneteau, as was Ron, and he’d actually purchased Prompt to send to the stallion. Unfortunately, Beneteau only stood the two seasons, but his two matings with Prompt produced a (Group Three) Maribyrnong Plate winner (Prompt Return) and now a Group One winner.

“Prompt was later sold privately to Newgate Farm, but full marks to Ron who has bred from just two mares. He was also a part-owner of, and raced, Diana’s Secret, which, like Sunlight, we also bought as a yearling from Widden Stud. Diana’s Secret would go to produce 5-time Group One winner, Dissident, which Ron had kept a 10% share in after the horse was sold to Peter Moody for $210,000 at the Gold Coast Magic Millions.

“Incredible … from two mares he’s bred and raced a Horse of the Year in Dissident and a Group One winner in Prompt Response.

“What’s more, She’s Meaner – the dam of Lean Mean Machine – was purchased by Blue Sky as a yearling and Ron was in both She’s Meaner (a 2YO stakes winner) and Lean Mean Machine!”

Prompt, meanwhile, had a yearling colt by Dissident sell to George Moore Bloodstock for $525,000 at the 2018 Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling Sale and is currently in foal to Capitalist.

 Jockey Blake Shinn with trainer Adrian Bott post race following Prompt Responses' dominant win in the Group 1 Tatts Tiara at Doomben

Jockey Blake Shinn with trainer Adrian Bott post race following Prompt Responses' dominant win in the Group 1 Tatts Tiara at Doomben

Superb June For Blue Sky Bloodstock Runners

Blue Sky Bloodstock runners enjoyed a massive run of success this past June with no less than 9 individual winners of 11 races, highlighted by PROMPT RESPONSE winning the Group 1 Tatts Tiara and LEAN MEAN MACHINE taking out the Group 2 Sires Produce Stakes during the Brisbane Winter Carnival. 

Blue Sky juveniles continued to perform brilliantly with 3 winners (EMBRACE ME, ROMANTIC BONANZA (HK) and JENKINS) all scoring wins, taking Blue Sky to 13 individual 2yo winners in 2017/18 of some 20 races, highlighted by star Magic Millions Classic winner SUNLIGHT and exciting ZOUSTAR colt LEAN MEAN MACHINE. 

Our results reflect the continued support of our valued clients at the yearling sales and we look forward to seeing many of these runners in the spring, summer and autumn carnivals of next season. 

 Overdue! Star Blue Sky mare PROMPT REPONSE finally gets her Group 1 for Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott, taking out the Group 1 Tatts Tiara during the Brisbane Winter Carnival

Overdue! Star Blue Sky mare PROMPT REPONSE finally gets her Group 1 for Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott, taking out the Group 1 Tatts Tiara during the Brisbane Winter Carnival

Blue Sky Success in April

Blue Sky Bloodstock purchased runners have continued their stellar season, with no fewer than three Stakes-winners and another three Stakes-placings in April, including an exciting Stakes-winner at Woodbine (CAN) who won convincingly, only to lose the race on protest. Congratulations to all connections!

 Multiple Group 2 winner Prompt Response pictured winning the Group 2 Breeders Classic (1200m)

Multiple Group 2 winner Prompt Response pictured winning the Group 2 Breeders Classic (1200m)

It has been a busy few weeks for the Blue Sky team with the culmination of the Inglis Easter sales set amongst three weeks of great racing at Randwick, including 'The Championships'.

Blue Sky continued their role as resident bloodstock agency for Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott this year and have been  particularly active at all major yearling sales in 2018. 

Julian believes it is the most exciting spread of yearlings that the stable has invested in and early reports from the breakers at Evergreen Farm have been very positive. 

Julian commented, "I am extremely proud of the of the group of babies we have purchased on behalf of Gai and Adrian and their clients will be very excited about what's on offer. There is a price point for everyone, different types to suit different races, including a number of all ladies syndicates. The way the stable is consistently producing winners and stakes horses at present across all states, I'm very excited about what the next 12 months has in store."

In total, Blue Sky were responsible for the selections and purchase of 108 yearlings between GWABR and private clients. Here is a breakdown of the 38 Sires whose progeny were selected across all sales, purchases ranged from $35k to $1.2M.

  • Animal Kingdom - 1
  • Artie Schiller 2
  • Bel Esprit - 1
  • Charge Forward - 3
  • Choisir - 1
  • Dawn Approach - 3
  • Deep Field - 6
  • Dissident - 3
  • Eurozone - 2
  • Exceed and Excel - 1
  • Fastnet Rock - 2
  • Foxwedge - 1
  • Hinchinbrook - 5
  • Holy Roman Emperor - 3
  • Husson - 1
  • I Am Invincible - 13
  • Manhattan Rain - 1
  • Medaglia d'Oro - 1
  • More Than Ready - 6
  • Not a Single Doubt - 3
  • Olympic Glory - 3
  • Pierro - 8
  • Proisir - 2
  • Real Saga - 1
  • Redoute's Choice - 4
  • Rubick - 1
  • Sebring - 2
  • Sepoy - 1
  • Shooting To Win - 1
  • Snitzel - 5
  • So You Think - 2
  • Spirit of Boom - 8
  • Street Boss - 1
  • Trusting - 1
  • Wandjina - 1
  • Written Tycoon - 3
  • Zebedee - 4
  • Zoustar - 1

Blue Sky Bloodstock are delighted that it's been their long serving clients who have been the main benefactors of this hot-streak of Stake successes – and long may it continue given their steadfast support.

April's Stakes Action:

Lean Mean Machine: 3rd Gr.3 Kindergarten Stakes

Fundamentalist: Won Listed SAJC Dequeteville Stakes and 2nd in Group 3 SAJC Breeders Stakes

Prompt Response: 2nd ATC Group 1 Coolmore Legacy

Whypeeo: Won Listed BRC Mick Pittman Plate

Runaway: WonListed VRC St Ledger

Machtree: 3rd Listed Wando Stakes(Woodbine, CAN)

There will be no slowing down in May. This Saturday Blue Sky Bloodstock will be represented by four runners at the Gold Coast's feature stand alone metro meeting featuring:

Whypeeo (I Am Invincible) – Group 3 Gold Coast Guineas

Lean Mean Machine (Zoustar) and Royal Hale (Snitzel)– Group 3 Ken Russell Classic

Prompt Return (Beneteau) – Looking to go back to back in the Bat Out of Hell over 900m.

PROMPT RETURN, (a $60,000 MM Premier Sale purchase), was reinvigorated over the shorter courses since moving to Queensland after winning the Group 3 Maribyrnong Plate as a juvenile. He'll be joined by full sister PROMPT RESPONSE in Qld with Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott for the Group 2 Dane Ripper and Group 1 Tatts Tiara Stakes deeper into the Brisbane Winter Carnival. The mare enjoyed a stellar Sydney Autumn, winning the Group 2 Breeders Stakes, Group 2 Emancipation Stakes and looked the winner in the Group 1 Coolmore Legacy until caught late by star filly Alizee to finish yet another 2nd at Group 1 level.

 Sunlight, pictured winning the $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m)

Sunlight, pictured winning the $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m)

Blue Sky 2yo's have enjoyed a particularly strong year, the obvious highlight being Magic Millions Classic and Group 2 Silver Slipper winner SUNLIGHT (MM Premier 2017 purchase by Zoustar/Solar Charged) leading a group of no less than 9 individual juvenile winners of some 15 races in 2017/18 to date. The team hope to bring up double figures this week with an eye to USMANOV (MM Premier 2017 purchase by Choisir/Mining Tycoon) at Toowoomba for Toby Edmonds and EMBRACE ME (Melbourne Premier purchase by Shamexpress/Party Royal).

Our focus will then shift to the Magic Millions Broodmare Sale on the Gold Coast where we will be offering our first select draft in the Blue Sky Premium Consignment. Limited to Stakes fillies off-the-track, the inaugural draft includes the likes of Group 2 Placed My True Love, Group 1 placed Joyfilly Ours and million-dollar earner, Group 3 winner Madotti . These fillies will be marketed strongly to the domestic and international buying bench and we are excited about driving strong returns for our clients.

If anyone has interest in expanding their level of ownership or simply seeking guidance on purchasing their first horse, please don't hesitate to get in touch with either Julian or Tom for a chat. To discuss or inspect any of these yearling purchases, please call or drop us an email on julian@blueskybloodstock.com.au or tom@blueskybloodstock.com.au

WHYPEEO CLAIMS MICK DITTMAN PLATE

aa267dd43bd452aa327a883c35d908db.jpeg

Whypeeo defied wet tracks fears to stamp himself a genuine Brisbane winter carnival contender with a dominant win in the Listed Mick Dittman Plate at Doomben on Saturday.

Whypeeo, ridden by premier jockey Jeff Lloyd, led all the way to down Meikas by four lengths with Godolphin’s Marble in third place, a further three-quarters of a length away.

Winning trainer Toby Edmonds admitted his biggest fear with Whypeeo was how the three-year-old would handle a heavy track after it was downgraded from a slow 7 following early showers during the meeting.

Prior to claiming his second Listed race win, Whypeeo had never raced on a rain-affected track with all four previous wins in eight starts coming on dry surfaces.

Whypeeo will now chase bigger winter riches and will likely have his next start in the Group 3 Gold Coast Guineas (1200m) on May 5.

Whypeeo was having his first start since a fading fourth in the Magic Millions Guineas at the Gold Coast in January but was primed for a first-up win following an easy barrier trial win on his home track.

Edmonds admitted he was relieved with how Whypeeo coped with the conditions.

“It’s a big relief as I wasn’t sure how he’d handle the wet as I rate him better on top of the ground,” Edmonds said.

“He’ll probably go the Gold Coast Guineas next and I’ll see how he’s going at the time whether to push on to the bigger races like the 10,000 and Stradbroke.”

21 APRIL 2018

By Glenn Davis

Zoustar's Sunlight Runs Down Estijaab in a Thriller

In what may well have been a preview of the Golden Slipper, the top-class fillies Sunlight and Estijaab staged a two-horse war in Saturday's $250,000 Group II Silver Slipper Stakes at Rosehill Gardens.

On the line it was the Zoustar filly Sunlight who made it four wins on the trot when finishing the best to edge a game Estijaab (Snitzel) by a neck with Gongs (Dawn Approach) six and three-quarter lengths back in third. (photo Magic Millions - Lisa Grimm). 

Sunlight Silver Slipper 3.jpg

The complexation of the race changed when Brenton Avdulla took hold of the pacesetting Estijaab, which had Neutrality over-racing forcing Blake Shinn to let the son of Sebring take on Estijaab for the lead.

Meanwhile, Tim Clark was smoking his pipe in third place on Sunlight.

When Estijaab turned back the challenge of Neutrality, Clark made his move on Sunlight.

The Magic Millions 2yo Classic heroine loomed alongside Estijaab who was not going down without a fight.

Sunlight Silver Slipper 1.jpg

"That was incredible wasn't it," McEvoy's assistant trainer, son Calvin said.

"I think we learned something new about her today when those other two (Estijaab and Neutrality) decided to go out in front.

"Tim just asked her to come back and she did, she just raced like a true professional.

"She's going to have another run into the Slipper but she's such a good doing filly and that was all class there.

"She was forward enough, we knew she would run well but we know there's further improvement.

"If she comes through this well she'll run in the Magic Night, a week out from the Slipper.

"Follow the same path we did into the Magic Millions, she's effective of the seven-day back-up and see how we go."

A $300,000 Magic Millions purchase from the Widden Stud draft for Aquis/McEvoy Mitchell Racing/Blue Sky Bloodstock, Sunlight advances her overall record to 4 wins and 1 third from 5 starts with earnings of $1,441,450.

Bred by Widden Stud in partnership, Sunlight is a half-sister to Group III placed Sheikha and is the third winner from former speedy filly Solar Charged, winner of the Group III ATC Kindergarten Stakes at her second start.

Sunlight Silver Slipper 4.jpg

News from Breednet, Images from Magic Millions/Lisa Grim

Third Stakes Win for Beneteau's Prompt Response

The thoroughly game Prompt Response rounded out last season with a second to Tycoon Tara in the Group 1 Tatt's Tiara at Doomben and she will be on the chase for a win at the highest level this autumn following an impressive return to racing in Saturday's Group II Breeders' Classic (1200m) at Warwick Farm.

The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained daughter of Beneteau came clear in the final stages to defeat the favourite Egyptian Symbol (Stratum) by one and a half-lengths with a short neck back to the Kris Lees-trained Danish Twist (Dane Shadow) in third. (photo Steve Hart )

Warwick-Farm-02-10-2018-Prompt_Response-Blake_Shinn-Gai_Waterhouse_Adrian_Bott_1-1558x1000.jpg

Fourth in the Group 1 Myer Stakes at Flemington and fourth in the Group II Matriarch Stakes on the same track at the Melbourne Spring Carnival, Prompt Response earned a third stakes win in the Breeders' Classic advancing her record to 4 wins and 8 seconds from 21 starts with earnings of $806,650.

"She's been so consistent throughout her career so very thankful to see her do that today, more so for the owners because they've been very patient with her," Bott said.

"But today she's come back with an explosive win and put the writing on the wall of what's to come this preparation.

"It was a very strong run race so the way the race panned out played into her hands – she was able to get a lovely cart into the race."

Bott said Prompt Response would be aimed races like the Coolmore Classic (1500m) and Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) this autumn.

A sister to 2014 Group III VRC Maribyrnong Plate winner Prompt Return, Prompt Response is the fourth foal of the Exceed And Excel mare Prompt whose first two foals are the stakes-placed Diamond Glow (Bel Esprit) and the Hong Kong winner Mr Right (Statue Of Liberty).

Though she failed to place in three starts, Prompt is a daughter of the Desert Sun mare Amnesia a 5-time winner who placed in nine stakes races.

After slipping in 2014 and 2015, Prompt has a yearling colt by Horse Of The Year Dissident that was purchased by George Moore Bloodstock for $525,000 out of the Newgate Farm draft at the recent Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale.

Prompt has a colt foal by Medaglia D'Oro (USA) and was bred back to Capitalist at Newgate Farm last spring.

News from Breednet

Group 2 Breeders Classic For Blue Sky's Prompt Response

Enjoyng her first win fresh from six attempts, the Beneteau four-year-old was too strong for her seven rivals in this year’s Group 2 $200,000 Breeders Classic (1200m).

Last seen finishing off her spring in Melbourne with back-to-back Flemington fourths on successive Saturdays during the Cup Carnival, Prompt Response made her autumn return after two Randwick trials.

She was given a gun ride by jockey Blake Shinn from the good gate two draw, getting a beautiful run in third stalking the front-runners Memes and Bonny O’Reilly.

Prompt Response Breeders Classic 1.jpg

Approaching the turn, rival hoop Jason Collett was on the move aboard race favourite Egyptian Symbol who started to loop the field looking to go one better than her second in the same race at Randwick 12 months ago.

With 200m left to travel Prompt Response hit the lead and despite giving the fitness edge away, held off the beaten Bjorn Baker-trained favourite Egyptian Symbol, who loomed but was never getting near the impressive winner, by one and a half lengths.

In third rounding out the Breeders Classic trifecta was the Kris Lees-trained Dane Shadow six-year-old Danish Twist who powered home late from the back in her first run of the autumn.

“It’s a great way to reward the mare, she’s been so consistent over her career,” co-trainer Bott said post-win.

“There’s been a few frustrating runs of placings but today she’s come back with an explosive win.

“We’ve got a nice Group 1 preparation planned.

“A race like the Coolmore [Classic] would be perfect for her getting out to the 1500m and maybe into the Queen Of the Turf at the end of the carnival.”

Prompt Response Breeders Classic 8.jpg

The Group 1 $600,000 Coolmore Classic (1500m) runs at Rosehill Gardens on March 17, while the Group 1 $1 million Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) takes place over the Royal Randwick mile on April 14 as part of ‘The Championships’ Day 2.

A special congratulations to loyal Blue Sky Bloodstock owners Mark Sowerby and Ron Hamer on the exciting victory of their mare.

McEvoy decides Slipper favourite needs two runs into sprint

Tony McEvoy has decided to give his star filly Sunlight two runs going into the Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes.

McEvoy had originally planned to give the $6 Golden Slipper favourite just the one run into that race after her easy win in the Magic Millions Classic.

Sunlight image.jpg

“I think she needs two runs into the Slipper even with what she’s done so far,” McEvoy said.

McEvoy said Sunlight would run in the Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) on February 24 and then the Magic Night Stakes (1200m) the week before the Golden Slipper Stakes on March 25 with all races at Rosehill.

He said she had spent a couple of weeks at their farm at Murbko on the Murray River where she was knee deep in lucerne.

McEvoy said Sunlight was now back in work at his training property at Angaston where “she looked super”.

Success For Siege First Up

Expensive colt Siege Of Quebec has wound up late to win at Rosehill to record his third win from just his first four starts.

The raging $1.50 favourite in Saturday’s Wilkes Quality (1100m) seemingly took an age to reach Kennedy ($6) but both his co-trainer Adrian Bott and jockey Brenton Avdulla said his casual attitude was mostly to blame.

He also lost two racing plates but that did not seem to bother him.

“He always gives you heartache in his races. He is very laid back,” Bott said.

Avdulla said Siege Of Quebec’s long neck margin was still decisive.

“He never wins by big margins,” he said.

“He pulled two plates off as well but he is very casual.”

Bott said he and training partner Gai Waterhouse were planning a campaign aimed at the Eskimo Prince, Hobartville Stakes and Group One Randwick Guineas on March 10.

“After the Guineas we might then look at weight-for-age,” he said.

By Fastnet Rock out of Rose Of Cimarron, Siege Of Quebec was a $1.2 million yearling and was purchased from the 2016 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale by Coolmore's Tom Magnier, Gai Waterhouse Racing, Nordic Racing and Breeding and Blue Sky Bloodstock's Julian Blaxland from the draft of Newgate Farm.

Siege Of Quebec parade.jpg

Bott bullish about Siege Of Quebec’s autumn campaign

Adrian Bott insists punters only saw a glimpse of what’s to come from Siege Of Quebec as the decision to miss most of the spring with the three-year-old is set to pay off this autumn.

Bott and co-trainer Gai Waterhouse called stumps on Siege Of Quebec’s last campaign after he finished second to Menari in the Listed Rosebud (1100m) in August, more than a month before the Golden Rose.

The temptation would have been there to extend his campaign but Bott is hoping the patient approach will pay off this autumn for the $1.2 million yearling purchase.

SOQ.jpg

“He is a really exciting colt for us going forward and I think we got a glimpse of his potential ability in his first preparation,” he said.

“His first two runs were really good and then I thought it was an excellent performance when he was dropping back in distance and up in grade in the Rosebud behind Menari.

“We were always of the opinion he would make a better three-year-old autumn type and he looks to have come back in great order as we’ve seen in both of his trials.”

Siege Of Quebec will start his autumn campaign in Wilkes Quality at Rosehill on Saturday. Picture: Simon BullardSource:News Corp Australia

Siege Of Quebec was always a good-looking colt but Bott said he has benefited from going out into the paddock after his last preparation feeling well.

“He had plenty of racing and it was certainly a big effort in the Rosebud so we didn’t want to go to the well one too many times with him because of the quality with him going forward,” he said.

“We took the view of giving him a good spell and having him really ready for this campaign. He went out in good order, which always helps, and he was able to really benefit from that as opposed to going out flat with one too many runs.

“He had a really decent spell and strengthened up nicely and he has come back in great shape.”

Asked how punters should assess him first-up, Bott expects the odds-on favourite to run very well in the Wilkes Quality (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.

“He is obviously going to be much better suited and better placed once he steps up over further in his campaign and I think he will make a top class 1400m-1600m colt in time, which we have aimed for him later on,” he said. “But he is at a point in his preparation where he is still showing plenty of speed and it looks a nice race for him to kick off his campaign.”

Bott said autumn plans were yet to be locked in for Siege Of Quebec but the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) on March 10 is a likely goal.

“He will definitely have his first few runs up here in Sydney and then I guess that program leads to the Randwick Guineas but we will also keep the Australian Guineas open as an option for him,” he said. “We won’t close the door on that yet but we are probably leaning towards keeping him in Sydney.”

Copy: Brad Davidson, Daily Telegraph

Ladies Day In The Sun … The Magic Of Racehorse Ownership

Racetrack success can be measured in many ways. Times. Margins. Group victories. Prizemoney.

But then there is the intangible. The sheer emotion – the thrill – of owning the winner of a $2 million race.

Few get to experience it, but therein is the allure. The Grail trail.

Katie Thompson and her fellow, female owners of Sunlight certainly got to experience it on Saturday when their filly captured the Magic Millions 2YO Classic over 1200m on the Gold Coast.

Despite the hot sun – literally and figuratively – thousands had packed into the Gold Coast racecourse, with many, many thousands more watching (enviously) on telly.

Leading into Saturday’s race, Sunlight had won two of three outings: finishing third on debut in the Listed Maribyrnong Plate at Flemington in October before resuming on the Gold Coast in December with a five length scamper over 900m and, in an ideal leadup, was equally dominant over 1100m there on 6 January. Both Gold Coast wins were class records.

Sure, barrier 12 for the Magic Millions 2YO Classic might not have been the best of draws, but Sunlight was still sent out a marginal favourite ahead of the (previously) unbeaten pair of Ef Troop and Jonker.

Although Ef Troop was the tearaway leader from the jump, Sunlight loomed shortly after turning for home and, in a matter of strides, it was all over bar the shouting. And shout they did.

Sunlight MM 1.jpg

What a tremendous advertisement for racehorse ownership this is. Katie Page, wife of Magic Millions principal, Gerry Harvey, initiated a bonus in 2012 whereby connections of the first four ‘all female owned or leased horses’ past the post in the 2YO Classic would receive a share of $500,000 … $325,000 for first.

It has inspired the formation of a large number of female owned horses: most notably the dual Group One winner, Global Glamour (by Star Witness), that is raced by 40 women from seven countries.

And it inspired Katie Thompson too, although it could be said she has a closer connection to Sunlight than most.

Wife of Widden Stud’s owner, Antony Thompson, Katie has been associated with Sunlight from early days, as the filly – a daughter of Widden’s resident stallion, Zoustar – was foaled down at their property.

“I didn’t have a great deal to do with Sunlight before she was prepped for the (2017) Gold Coast Magic Millions, but she was always a lovely type and had this real attitude about her,” Thompson reveals. “She can get a bit feisty alright.

“After Tony (McEvoy) purchased her for $300,000 with Blue Sky Bloodstock's Julian Blaxland and Aquis Farm, a few of us decided to keep a share. We’ve long had a close association with Sheikh Fahad Al Thani and Qatar Racing, co-breeders of Sunlight, so his assistant racing manager, Hannah Wall, is a shareholder: in fact, Antony and Sheikh Fahad’s bloodstock manager, David Redvers, purchased Sunlight’s dam, Solar Charged, from the 2014 Magic Millions Broodmare Sale.

“Another co-breeder in Dan Fletcher is from Emerald in Queensland and has been a very good client of Widden’s over the years, so he put in his wife and daughter, while Tony Fung’s wife, Loretta, is a shareholder as well, along with a couple of Tony McEvoy’s clients.

“It’s a nice, little group and been a great ride so far.”

Definitely a day Thompson won’t forget in a hurry …

“It was one of those times when you wish the day was 12 hours longer,” Thompson points out. “After the races, Widden sold a Snitzel filly for $1.1 million, capping off a brilliant week.”

Two days prior to the big race, McEvoy had purchased the full sister to Sunlight from Widden for $600,000 and Thompson explains that the same ownership group will race this youngster too.

“She (the yearling) is very much in the mould of her big sister,” Thompson adds. “Similar conformation and the same kind of attitude. Hopefully lightning can strike twice.”

Sunlight will now seek to emulate 2016 Magic Millions 2YO Classic winner, Capitalist, who went on to capture the $3.5 million Golden Slipper, but will first have a few more “swims” in Queensland before heading for a short break in the paddock.

Win, lose or draw come Slipper day, Sunlight has proven to be a tremendous launching pad for her sire, Zoustar, according to Thompson: “To win a race of this stature with your first crop is amazing … we were confident the Zoustars would develop into really nice 3YOs but to get such a good winner this early from only a handful of runners … well, that’s pretty special.

“Hopefully he can emulate his sire (Northern Meteor) and grandsire (Encosta de Lago) by becoming Champion Australian First Season Sire.”

News From Aushorse

Sunlight Cruises To Massive Payday in Millions Classic

Brilliant filly Sunlight (Zoustar-Solar Charged) overcame some early interference to post a dazzling win for Tony McEvoy and Luke Currie in Saturday’s $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast.

Sunlight MM 1.jpg

Three of the favoured runners – Sunlight and undefeated colts Ef Troop and Jonker  - were involved in the incident about 200m after the start but it was the Victorian filly the stood up best, powering away to score by two lengths over Stuart Kendrick’s 100-1 outsider Fullasaboot (Sepoy-Fullazz).

 Tom Seymour & Julian Blaxland

Tom Seymour & Julian Blaxland

McEvoy said the decision to campaign Sunlight in Queensland – the filly won two races on the Gold Coast after a debut defeat at Flemington in November – was the hallmark of Saturday’s victory.

The veteran horseman, who combined with Aquis Farm and Julian Blaxland's Blue Sky Bloodstock to purchase Sunlight for $300,000 at last year’s Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, parted with $600,000 to secure her full sister at the sale on Friday.

“It’s a big thrill and it’s brilliant for our brand, what a great filly,” McEvoy said.

“The key was getting her here when we did, she’s been able to acclimatise and handle the heat really well.

“Having the preparation where she ran up here last week, when the high pressure was on today she lifted late.

The win was bolstered by the fact Sunlight is owned entirely by female connections, who secured an additional $325,000 as part of the Magic Millions’ Racing Women promotion.

 Trainer Tony McEvoy and jockey Luke Currie

Trainer Tony McEvoy and jockey Luke Currie

 Julian Blaxland & Aquis Farm's Kacy Fogden

Julian Blaxland & Aquis Farm's Kacy Fogden

It was the third time the winner of the 2YO Classic picked up the Racing Women bonus with this year's $1.525 million winners’ cheque the biggest in the 32 year history of the Magic Million 2YO Classic.


The victory gave Currie another feature scalp for McEvoy – the pair boasts a 15% winning strike rate over the past two racing seasons – and the Group 1-winning jockey again praised the stable’s preparation of the filly.

“She came here with the weight of expectation today and she’s proved all of her fans right,” Currie said.

“She’s been expertly trained by Tony to bring her up here early and give her those couple of runs.

“I learned a lot getting beat on her in her first start, probably more than what I have in her past two wins.

“I rode her down the straight and held her up a bit and I just think she’s too brilliant for that and she’s proven that in her last couple.”

 Sunlight pictured as a yearling in the Widden Stud draft

Sunlight pictured as a yearling in the Widden Stud draft

New from Magic Millions      

Blue Sky Bloodstock Active On Day 1 Of Magic Millions

Kicking off early in the day with Lot 28, the Manhattan Rain colt was secured from the draft of Fairhill Farm (As agent). Purchased in conjunction with Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, the colt is out of a Danasinga half-sister to Pottinger and comes from the family of Group 1 winner Sky Cuddle.

 Lot 28: Manhattan Rain x Le Clercq  colt

Lot 28: Manhattan Rain x Le Clercq  colt

Twenty lots later the team was back in action with Glastonbury Farms (as agent)’s Lot 48, the exciting More Than Ready colt out of the Bel Danoro mare Ma Joie, from the family known all too well to Waterhouse as Sunday Joy and More Joyous are in the family, as is another Group 1 winner trained by the stable in the All Aged Stakes winner Arlington Road.

From the draft of Musk Creek, the very vendor that Waterhouse purchased Pierro from, Blue Sky Bloodstock and the Waterhouse/Bott team secured a Lot 58, a colt by Hinchinbrook.

From a family know all too well to her trainer, this colt is out of a half-sister to the dam of Group 3 winner Sweet Redemption, and is also grandson of the Group 1 Flight Stakes winner Danglissa, both trainer by Waterhouse.

 Lot 58: Hinchinbrook x Maglissa colt

Lot 58: Hinchinbrook x Maglissa colt

Everybody loves a grey, and Lot 102 fitted that bill. Purchased in conjunction with the Waterhouse and Bott training partnership as well as Andrew Williams Bloodstock, the Newhaven Park secured filly is by Champion Sire More Than Ready out of the Intikhab mare Moone's My Name, a Listed-winning, Group 3 placed half-sister to Listed winner Baby Strange.

 Lot 102: More Than Ready x Moone's My Name filly

Lot 102: More Than Ready x Moone's My Name filly

No Evidence Needed was a tough and consistent Group 2-winning, Group 1 placed daughter of Shamardal and her Sniztel colt from the draft of Baramul Stud who sold as Lot 133 was a must have for the buying partnership.

By a Champion Sire out of a Group 1-winning mare who has already produced a stakes performer, Lot 172 from the draft of Coolmore was one the partnership was not going to let slip through.

The imposing colt by Fastnet Rock is out of the Group 1 Tatt’s Tiara winner Pear Tart, and her first foal, a full-sister to this colt is he Group 2 performed Italia Bella. It is also the family of I Am Invinvible’s Group 1 winner I Am A Star and Dubawi’s Champion Erupt.

 Lot 172: Fastnet Rock x Pear Tart colt

Lot 172: Fastnet Rock x Pear Tart colt

A few lots later Lot 178, a New Zealand bred colt by Holy Roman Emperor out of the Encosta de Lago mare Phocis was secure for a Blue Sky Bloodstock client. From the family of Group 1 winner Just Momente and Vancouver, the well-related colt comes from an exciting speed family.

 Lot 178: Holy Roman Emperor x Phocis colt

Lot 178: Holy Roman Emperor x Phocis colt

The final purchase of the day came towards the end of the session when Waterhouse and Bott teamed up once again with Blue Sky Bloodstock for Lot 237, the I Am Invincible colt out of the stakes winner Rich Megadale.

Lot 237 - BSB.jpg

Secured for the 2018 Blue Sky Bloodstock Colt Club, the colt is the first purchase for the club, but wont be the last, with another nine colts to be purchased throughout the yearling sale season.

Stay tuned for more purchases on Thursday from the Blue Sky Bloodstock team, and if you have any questions on any of the yearlings purchased, please click HERE for out Contacts.

Watch a review of day 1 of the Magic Millions Yearling Sale by Blue Sky Bloodsotck's Julian Blaxland and Tom Seymour below.

 

 

Sunlight First, Daylight Second!

Northern Meteor's champion son Zoustar is the sire of exciting filly Sunlight, who blitzed her rivals to win in scintillating time at the Gold Coast on Saturday in a stunning dress rehearsal for the $2million Magic Millions 2YO Classic next week.

Sunline GC2.png

Stakes-placed at Flemington at her only start in the spring, the Tony McEvoy trained filly won easily at the Gold Coast before Christmas over 900 metres and looked every inch a top class juvenile when winning the $60,000 Follow @aquisfarm On Twitter over 1100 metres.

She led for Luke Currie with the Waterhouse and Bott trained runner Terminology in close attendance, but with a furlong to run was in a class of her own.

Sunlight (image Magic Millions) zipped away to win by four and a half lengths under her own steam running the trip in 1:02.48, which was more than a second and a half quicker than Houtzen did when winning the same race last year.

Sunlight yearling.jpg

Houtzen backed up seven days later to win the Magic Millions 2YO Classic and connections will be hoping to see Sunlight do the same.

"That was an easy one to watch," said Tony McEvoy.

"She's a high class filly. It will be interesting to see how she's handled that, but I think this race will really bring her on.

"I wanted her to feel like a local. Now she's had two good looks at the track and she's ready."

A $300,000 Magic Millions purchase from the Widden Stud draft for Aquis/McEvoy Mitchell Racing/Blue Sky Bloodstock, Sunlight runs for a ladies syndicate headed by Mrs Fung and has now won $92,200.

"She's feisty like all the good girls," revealed Tony McEvoy.

"She likes her own space and will bare her teeth at you, but once she lets you in, she's kind and honest, a lovely filly."

Sunlight is poised to give the 'boom' colts Ef Troop and Jonker a good run for their money with first season sires Spirit of Boom and Zoustar accounting for the three standout favourites this year.

Bred by Widden Stud in partnership, Sunlight is a half-sister to Group III placed Sheikha and is the third winner from former speedy filly Solar Charged, winner of the Group III ATC Kindergarten Stakes at her second start.

Magic Millions Run Continues With Whiskey Shooter

The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott stable unleashed an interesting two year-old debut winner at Canterbury on Friday evening with a fast finishing victory for Sebring filly Whiskey Shooter.

Lot 382 Sebring x Rocha filly.jpg

Easy in the market and one of the smallest fillies in the field, Whiskey Shooter proved herself to be all racehorse when she stumbled leaving the gates, but recovered to score a stylish win.

She was tenacious in the run to the line for Tim Clark, catching race favourite Misteed to win the 1100 metre maiden by a head.

Whiskey Shooter Jan 5.png

"What a terrific job she's done," said stable representative Neil Paine.

"She's not very big and has plenty of growing to do.

"Gai and Adrian were happy with her last trial and thought she was ready to go to the races and they were right."

A $180,000 Magic Millions purchase for her trainers and Blue Sky Bloodstock from the Coolmore draft, Whiskey Shooter is the third winner for Group II winning Encosta de Lago mare Rocha, a daughter of Group I South Australian Oaks winner Larrocha.

It's also the family of Group I winner and Champion WA Sire Blackfriars, who died just a few weeks ago.

Copy: Breednet

Sunlight Set To Sizzle At Gold Coast Before Taking Aim At Magic Millions

Sunlight has continued to thrive in Queensland, and is poised to frank her high rating in Magic Millions betting when she has a final tune-up at the Gold Coast on Saturday.

Trainer Tony McEvoy supervised a piece of work at Doomben on Wednesday and liked what he saw.

“She wasn’t sent out to do much,” McEvoy said. “I don’t need to change much. She just cruised around, she was quite casual, but used her action well, her ears were up, she was bright and she enjoyed it.”

Sunlight burst into Magic Millions calculations with a thumping 900m Gold Coast win on December 23. She goes to 1100m on Saturday, when rivals will include the highly-spruiked Waterhouse-Bott filly Terminology.

McEvoy believes she is set to peak on Magic Millions Day and expects Saturday’s race to top her off.

Sunlight Courier Mail 1.jpg

“I definitely need to run her,” he said. “She’s full and well. She’s really thrived up here so Saturday will clean her up really nicely. She will be spot on after this race.”

McEvoy makes no secret he holds Sunlight in the highest regard and said “it will take a smart horse to beat her” this weekend.

“She’s pretty good,” he said. “The first mistake she ever made in her life was (on debut at Flemington). She just didn’t want to relax and got a bit excited on the day.

“It cost her the race. She had those horses beat and she just emptied the last 100 yards and allowed them to pass her. I know she’s got a little bit left in the tank because this is not her grand final and this will peak her for the race we came here for.”

McEvoy is also pressing ahead to a Magic Millions start with Crockett, who flopped as a heavily-backed commodity in last Saturday’s B.J. McLachlan Stakes.

“I gave him a bit of work at Eagle Farm (Wednesday) and he’s as bright as a button,” the trainer said. “He just had a really bad day the other day. I think he melted a bit. It was a very hot day and colts can sometimes do that.

“He wasn’t there. We all have bad days and I’m happy just to put a line through it.”

McEvoy said a scope on the colt came back “as clean as a whistle” and he was just waiting on reports from blood tests he had taken.

“But my eye told me he’s perfect and I’m just going to put it down to one of those things,” he said. “I will put a tongue tie on him, I will put a set of blinkers on him. I’ll just trick around with his training a bit in the next 10 days just to stimulate him and we will be there for the big race.”

Sunlight was purchased by Blue Sky Bloodstock, Aquis Farm and trainer Tony McEvoy from the draft of Widden Stud at the 2017 Magic Millions Yearling Sale - pictured below as a yearling.

Sunlight yearling.jpg

 

News, Nathan Exelby, Courier Mail