Aristia’s VRC Oaks success fills significant gap in Lonhro’s CV
Darley’s former champion sire Lonhro (Octagonal) may be 20 years old but he is still turning out a steady stream of major winners, most important of them in recent weeks the VRC Oaks (Gr 1, 2500m) winner Aristia (Lonhro), whose victory at Flemington on November 8 represents something of a career milestone in becoming the stallion’s 11th Group 1 winner and the first at a distance greater than 1600 metres.
A champion racehorse whose 11 Group 1 successes included five at 2000 metres, Lonhro until the Oaks had just one glaring omission from his sire CV in that he had failed to leave either a Derby or Oaks winner but Aristia has now rectified that gap in her father’s otherwise outstanding stud record.
Aristia captured the Oaks just five days after registering her first black type win in the Wakeful Stakes (Gr 2, 2000m) and has provided huge thrills for her large syndicate of owners.
Realistically, the 2018 VRC Oaks did not draw a vintage field but all credit to Aristia, who was too strong at the finish for runner-up Greysful Glamour (Stratum), defeating her by three-quarters of a length while Miner’s Miss (Rebel Raider), just out of country maiden company, was another three-quarters of a length back in third place. Favourite Amphitrite (Sebring), winner of the Thousand Guineas (Gr 1,1600m), pulled up sore after being eased down to finish last. Race time was 2:40.54, with the final 600 metres run in 36.26 on the track rated as a good 4.
Reasonably priced, as an $80,000 buy for First Light Racing, trainers Ellerton and Zahra and agent Paul Willetts at the 2017 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale, Aristia was bred by Vinery Stud partner Greg Perry, who wisely bought back an interest in the Sebring (More Than Ready) filly to race her with the large group of co-owners.
Perhaps the dash of stamina needed to win an Oaks came from Aristia’s maternal grandsire Tiger Hill (Danehill), winner of three Group 1 contests in Germany, among them the 1998 and 1999 renewals of the Grosser Preis von Baden (Gr 1, 2400m) among his tally of five black type wins. Tiger Hill’s racing class is also shown by his second in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (Gr 1, 2400m) and third behind Sagamix (Linamix) in the 1998 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Gr 1, 2400m).
These performances earned Tiger Hill a peak Timeform rating of 127 and titles as champion three-year-old and champion older horse in Germany and his own stamina as a son of Danehill (Danzig) may have come through his own maternal grandsire Appiani (Herbager), champion three-year-old in Italy and best remembered as the sire of Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Star Appeal (Appiani), whose son Star Way became a leading sire in New Zealand.
German progeny of Tiger Hill included Group 1 winners Konigstiger and Iota while he also has to his credit Rewilding (Royal Ascot Prince of Wales’s Stakes, Gr 1, 1m2f) to go with Oaks winners in Germany, Italy and India.
Darley brought Tiger Hill to NSW for four seasons (2005 to 2008). He left 272 live foals, of which five became stakes winners in Australia and New Zealand with Aristia’s dam Nakaaya the best of them.
Nakaaya won five races, four in Melbourne, from 1000 to 1600 metres highlighted by her success in the 2011 Sunline Stakes (Gr 2, 1600m). She produced Aristia as her third foal and third winner after Jobodwana (Congrats) and Zolani (More Than Ready). Following Aristia is an unnamed two-year-old filly by I Am Invincible (Invincible Spirit), a yearling colt by Written Tycoon (Iglesia), headed to the Gold Coast Magic Millions Sale in January, and a 2018 filly by Flying Artie (Artie Schiller).
This is a family which has produced a number of black type winners in recent generations, as demonstrated by the accompanying catalogue pedigree.
Aristia’s second dam Duchess Talaria (Marwina) won as a two-year-old over 1200 metres at Canterbury Park and later won a 1900 metre race at the same Sydney track. Duchess Taleria is a half-sister and bred on the same lines as AJC Fernhill Handicap (Listed, 1600m) winner Sir Amadi (Maizcay) while another half-sister, Purling (Tolomeo), foaled AJC Flight Stakes (Gr 1, 1600m) winner Royal Purler (Hector Protector).
Princess Talaria (Dignitas), fourth dam of Aristia, was among the top fillies of the 1974 Australian crop. She showed all the brilliance of her stakes-winning dam Winged Beauty (Port Vista) as an early two-year-old to capture three juvenile tests, the Gimcrack Stakes (now Gr 3, 1000m), Widden Stakes (now Gr 3, 1100m) and the Mimosa Stakes (now Listed, 1000m) before training on at three years in the spring to win the VATC Thousand Guineas (now Gr 1, 1600m) and the VRC Edward Manifold Stakes (now Gr 2, 1600m) before in the autumn defeating older rivals in the race now known as the Coolmore Classic (now Gr 1, 1500m) at Rosehill.
Among the stakes winners descending from Princess Talaria are the remarkably durable Mustard (Vettori), a winner of 17 races, Queensland Guineas winner (Gr 2, 1600m) winner Sir Moments (Choisir) and Silver Flyer (Kenmare).
Aristia’s pedigree chart shows a 5m x 5m double of champion Sir Ivor (Sir Gaylord) through his sire sons Sir Tristram and Imperial Prince plus more remote duplications of Northern Dancer (Nearctic), Round Table (Princequillo) and other influential stallions.
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