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Great Shot defies odds and rivals in Railway Stakes

Les Young | 29.11.2017

Well performed five-year-old gelding Great Shot (Magnus) carrying 53.5 kilograms was sent out at 30/1 in last Saturday’s WATC Railway Stakes (Gr 1, 1600m) at Ascot, quickly took the lead and defied his star-studded rivals to run him down.

Close to the finish near champion Black Heart Bart (Blackfriars) almost reached him but Great Shot just held him to win by a short-head with perennial placegetter Tom Melbourne (Dylan Thomas) a long head further back in third place. Race time was 1:35.81.

Stakes placed at his previous three starts, Great Shot is lucky to be racing at all having overcome a spinal problem following an impressive success in the Belmont Guineas (Listed, 1600m) in June 2016, so his Group One victory is a just reward for the care and patience of his connections.

Great Shot was bred in Western Australia by Scenic Lodge Thoroughbred Stud which purchased his dam Satin Covers (Dr Grace) for $26,000, just four months before the Railway Stakes winner’s birth, at the 2012 Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale at the Gold Coast. She was offered as part of Lee Fleming’s Victoria-based Eliza Park Stud draft which planned the mating with resident sire Magnus (Flying Spur) to create Great Shot.

Scenic Lodge sold Great Shot for $31,000 to part-owner Francis Edwards at the 2014 Perth Magic Millions Yearling Sale but has since had no luck with his dam as she did not produce another foal after being a regular breeder earlier in her stud career for a succession of owners, Stratheden Stud Pty Ltd, Vinery Stud Pty Ltd, Southern Breeding Ventures Pty Ltd and Lee Fleming.

Satin Covers, a dual winner in Sydney up to 1600 metres, started her stud career in the best way possible as her first foal, the filly Gawne (Flying Spur), became a Listed stakes winner in Melbourne and placed in four other black type events. Five of her later foals before Great Shot in Sateen (More Than Ready), Satin Halo (Dubleo), Slippery Satin (Benicio). Firenze (Casino Prince) and Nine Covers (Twining) all became winners with Nine Covers later producing the hardy mare Casino Dancer (Casino Prince), a Group Three winner in both Sydney and Melbourne.

This is a family well known to this writer who in 1980 selected Great Shot’s third dam, Sydney winner Lady Cetigne (Seventh Hussar), as a broodmare prospect for the late David Chrystal to send to his new sire Buena Shore (George Lewis) who retired that season to Mr Chrystal’s Bellerive Stud, Scone, NSW.

A well performed American sprinter out of a half-sister to champion racehorse and sire Damascus (Sword Dancer), Buena Shore was not a great success as a sire but his first mating with Lady Cetigne resulted in the best of his only two stakes winners, Great Shot’s second dam Satin Sand, winner of the STC Orlando Classic (now Coolmore Classic) (Gr 1, 1500m), the AJC Liverpool City Cup (Gr 3, 1200m) and the AJC Silver Shadow Stakes (Gr 3, 1200m).

At stud Satin Sand left six winners, among them Da Man (Danehill), a good winner in South Africa and Hong Kong.

After foaling Satin Sand, Lady Cetigne produced a number of other winners including stakes winner Western Magic (Western Symphony). She was a half-sister to Glen Roto (Coney Island), a good winner in Sydney and stakes placed while another of her half-relations produced STC Silver Slipper Stakes (Gr 2, 900m) winner St Louis Blue (Royal Rocket), quality runners from what was then an unfashionable family.

Great Shot follows Magnifisio and Malaguerra as the third Group One winner for their sire Magnus who is currently standing his tenth season at Sun Stud in Victoria where he now commands a service fee of $22,000 (inc GST).

Magnus has a total of 14 stakes winners, others of note including the high class mare Miss Promiscuity, Magnapal, Platinum Kingdom, Malibu Style and The Alfonso, a Horse of the Year in Macau.

As a racehorse Magnus proved himself to be a sprinter of world class, taking the AJC Galaxy Handicap (Gr 1, 1100m) and placing in four other Group One contests in Australia.

He further showed his class when second to Takeover Target (Celtic Swing) in the Krisflyer International Sprint (SGP Gr 1, 1200m) and on a trip to Royal Ascot he finished third in the King’s Stand Stakes (Gr 2, 5f).

From the stakes winner Scandinavia (Snippets) and closely related to unbeaten Black Caviar (Bel Esprit) and All Too Hard (Casino Prince), Magnus has all the credentials to develop into a prominent sire of broodmares.

Great Shot is linebred 5f x 4m to champion Sir Ivor (Sir Gaylord) with no other duplications in his first five removes.

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