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Performer on track for Golden Slipper bid

Les Young | 07.02.2018

Opinions were divided on the merit of the first up win of Performer (Exceed and Excel) in last Saturday’s Canonbury Stakes (Gr 3, 1100m) at Rosehill Gardens but this writer believes he is still the best hope to capture the Golden Slipper Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m) on 24 March.

The tall, rangy chestnut, carrying three kilograms more than his four rivals, was not fully wound up and unsuited in a slowly run race before showing great determination to score by a nose from the previously unraced Stratosphere (Snitzel) with another two and a half lengths to Exceltic (Excelebration), another previously unraced colt of real quality.


Performer had not raced since his impressive victory last spring when having his first start in the ATC Breeders’ Plate (Listed, 1000m) and while the overall race time last Saturday of 1:06.21 on the soft track was moderate, his final 600 metres in 33.60 was by far the best of the day with final 200 metre splits of 10.62 and 10.67.


Since 2008 two Canonbury Stakes winners, Sebring (More Than Ready) in 2008 and Vancouver (Medaglia d’Oro) in 2015, have gone on to success in the Golden Slipper Stakes and significantly, both like Performer, were also Breeders’ Plate winners.


Bred by South Australian resident Mr. D.S. Thomas, Performer was sold through the Newhaven Park draft at the 2017 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, knocked down to Harras Syndicate/Mulcaster Bloodstock for $450,000 with stallion potential very much in mind.


Now raced by a group of trainer Chris Waller’s most prominent clients, Performer has the pedigree top and bottom to take his place at stud even if he fails to add a Group One triumph or two to his record.


His sire, Darley-owned reverse shuttler Exceed And Excel (Danehill), is one of the great international success stories for Australian bloodstock over the past 15 years with 142 stakes winners worldwide, not to mention becoming Australia’s champion sire in the 2012/13 season, the season, in which he won the first of two consecutive titles as champion sire of two-year-olds in Australia.  


A very good juvenile and champion Australian sprinter at three years, Exceed And Excel already has a Golden Slipper winner, Overreach, to his credit, two winners of the Blue Diamond Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m) in Earthquake and Reward For Effort, plus other Group One-winning two year-olds Guelph, Helmet and Outstrip, winner in the United States of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (Gr 1, 8f).


Performer is the seventh foal and fourth winner for his dam Garoche (Snippets), a minor winner whose first foal Bel Sprinter (Bel Esprit) put her on the map as a broodmare by winning five stakes events, most important of them The Galaxy (Gr 1, 1100m).This gelding also placed in two other Group Ones, one being the Krisflyer International Sprint (Gr 1, 1200m) in Singapore.


Garoche’s 2016 colt by Smart Missile (Fastnet Rock) sadly died after birth and she was served late last season by Fastnet Rock (Danehill).


Performer’s American-bred second dam La Miserable (Miswaki) was imported to Australia in 2001 by Farrington Bloodstock and this half-sister to Underwood Stakes (Gr 1, 2000m) winner Always Aloof (Alleged) produced six winners from eight foals to race.


La Miserable’s dam Miranda (Forli), a stakes placegetter in Italy before becoming an Allowance winner at Santa Anita, is a member of an internationally renowned family whose most recent standout performer is Leading Light (Montjeu), winner of the 2013 St Leger Stakes (Gr 1, 1m6.5f) and of the 2014 Ascot Gold Cup (Gr 1, 2m4f).


Nijinsky’s (Northern Dancer) winning daughter Baronova is Performer’s fourth dam, she out of the royally related Tsessebe (Buckpasser), a winner at Phoenix Park in Ireland.


Tsessebe’s mother Monarchy (Princequillo) was a stakes winner in the United States and at stud bred six winners, among them black type winners Fabled Monarch (Le Fabuleux) and Title (Bold Ruler) but most significantly Monarchy is a sister to super tough champion American racehorse and sire Round Table (Princequillo), winner of 27 races.


Linebred 4m, 4m x 5m, 6m to Northern Dancer (Nearctic), Performer also has three crosses of influential champion Buckpasser (Tom Fool) plus a duplication of full relations Round Table and Monarchy (Princequillo – Knight’s Daughter).

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