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Blue Point makes immediate impression with two trial winners

Waterhouse and Bott have a day out at Sydney session with seven juvenile scorers

Darley’s northern hemisphere first season sire sensation Blue Point (Shamardal) made an immediate impact on yesterday’s official Sydney two-year-old barrier trial session, siring two winners including probable Breeders’ Plate (Gr 3, 1000m) favourite Scampi.

The 12 heats also unearthed a potential early season star in Invincible Madison (I Am Invincible), one of two expensive Magic Millions acquisitions for American owners Tammy and Richard Rigney. Trained by Peter and Paul Snowden, it is yet to be decided whether she remains in work for the Gimcrack Stakes (Gr 3, 1000m) or is immediately spelled with a view of returning to the Gold Coast in January for the $3 million 2YO Classic (RL, 1200m).

US agent John Moynihan, who in January this year made the spur-of-the-moment trip to the Gold Coast with Tammy and Richard Rigney at the behest of Magic Millions managing director Barry Bowditch after meeting at the Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland last year, was delighted to receive reports from Randwick that Invincible Madison had shown such talent so early in her career.

The filly, a $1.2 million purchase from Glenlogan Park at the Gold Coast and the first foal out of the stakes-placed Super Too (Hinchinbrook), herself a half-sister to Group 3 winner Super One (I Am Invincible), closed strongly in the day’s final heat to score by almost two and three-quarter lengths over 843 metres in a time of 49.55 seconds.

“It has worked out well, Peter and Paul have done a super job for us … so we’re really excited. They’ve liked her [from the beginning], she’s handled all her preparations really well, so they were very excited to get her started,” Moynihan told ANZ Bloodstock News from the US.

Moynihan remained non-committal about whether the valuable filly races at Randwick on Saturday week or heads to the paddock. The Magic Millions 2YO Classic, however, looms as a likely longer-term target.

“It’ll be up to Peter and Paul, whatever they decide, we’ll go along with them. We’ll talk to them post-trial and see what they recommend. We’ll see how the filly comes out of it and keep our fingers crossed that everything goes forward from here.”

Alongside Invincible Madison, the most visually impressive two-year-old to step out yesterday was the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained Scampi, a first crop southern hemisphere-bred son of Blue Point. Bred by Robert Crabtree, the colt is from the same family as his breeder’s Scandinavia (Snippets) family, of Black Caviar (Bel Esprit) fame.

One of four named foals out of Sistonic (Bel Esprit), who has already produced ATC Kindergarten Stakes (Gr 3, 1100m) winner Semillion (Shalaa), Scampi won heat nine by two and three-quarter lengths under a stranglehold from rider Jason Collett.

A $750,000 purchase from the Bhima Thoroughbreds draft at the Magic Millions Gold Coast sale, Scampi stopped the clock in 49.36 seconds, running his last 600 metres in 33.64 seconds.

Collett put the Breeders’ Plate firmly on the agenda for the colt, who carries the silks of Colin McKenna. 

“He was pretty relaxed beforehand and he surprised me how quick he was. He did that quite easily,” Collett said.

“Ciaron said not to go too quick, so there’s obviously some stable confidence that he’s got pretty natural ability and it’s just a case of making sure we can get him there in a week and a half, two weeks.”

The barrier trials, held on a firm Kensington track at Randwick, also unearthed winners for Australian first season sires Pierata (Pierro) and Tassort (Brazen Beau) while the James Harron syndicate and the Newgate Farm-China Horse Club partnership each unveiled a number of promising colts.

The Harron syndicate-raced Fearless, whose sire Pierata relocated from Aquis Farm to Yulong in Victoria this year, won heat three for the Snowdens.

He was one of three colts to win barrier trials yesterday carrying Harron’s iconic dark green and gold epaulette silks.

“I was out here to watch a jump-out two weeks ago and he was really sharp,” Harron said. 

“He’s got a lovely action and, importantly, a lovely attitude. Chad (Schofield) has been doing the job on him and he stuck with him this morning. 

“It’s quite a fast track and I think it will prove hard to make up ground, so he showed that good turn of foot.”

Harron was also taken by the early impressions left by the Michael Freedman-trained Highness (Snitzel), who won heat five ahead of another of his colts partnership-owned two-year-old Gravitas (Capitalist), and heat seven winner Espionage (Zoustar), who is trained by Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott.

On Highness, the $900,000 colt out of a half-sister to the dam of Australian Horse of the Year Dissident (Sebring), Harron said: “Michael’s brought him along very gently, he didn’t want to work him too hard until he got a good base underneath him. He did plenty of slow work and swimming. 

“It wasn’t always the plan to come here today, but he had a little jump-out a couple of weeks ago and he jumped out really well, pulled up well from it and showed a really good attitude and good professionalism.”

The $1 million Magic Millions colt Espionage, who was caught wide but knuckled down well to win his heat, had jockey Adam Hyeronimus in raptures.

“The stable’s had a nice, healthy opinion of him from what they’ve seen at home, so there was a little bit of expectation here this morning for him,” Harron said. 

“Sometimes it’s nice when things don’t go perfectly and they’ve got to learn a wee bit and adapt because most likely they’re going to have to do that in a race. 

“What Adam was saying, he’s not one-dimensional, he doesn’t have to be in front. You can ride him in behind where he’s comfortable and he’ll learn a bit from today.”

The Snowden-trained Volatile (Snitzel), a $550,000 Magic Millions purchase by the Newgate, China Horse Club, Trilogy and Go Bloodstock partnership, also lived up to expectations by coming from back in the field to win heat 11 in a similar vein to the way his stablemate Empire Of Japan (Snitzel) did last year before taking out the Breeders’ Plate. 

“He is a very well-bred horse who was bred by Belinda Bateman,” Field said. 

“He is inbred to Snippets who is a great influence on our Stud Book, and he’s out of a mare by Lonhro who is a direct descendent of Easy Date and he’s by Snitzel. He’s a horse Peter’s had a very high opinion of from the get-go and it was nice to see him do that today.” 

Waterhouse and Bott trained seven of the 12 heat winners, opening the day with $270,000 pinhooked Written By (Written Tycoon) colt Straight Charge who ran the fastest time of the session, completing the 850-metre course in a sizzling 48.46 seconds and his last 600 metres in 32.52 seconds.

“He has always been a natural and forward type of horse and it was nice to see him bring that here today,” Bott said. 

“It’s always good to see them under a bit of pressure. He paraded really well and he’s been that way all the way through. He’s got that real two-year-old constitution, he handled that pressure today and he will do that in his races going forward.”

The in-form stable also landed heat two with Sir Owen Glenn’s homebred filly Lady Of Camelot (Written Tycoon). A half-sister to three-time Group 3 winner Queen Of The Ball (I Am Invincible) and last season’s Gimcrack Stakes winner Platinum Jubilee (Zoustar), she is the third foal out of Listed winner Miss Debutante (Fastnet Rock).

Go Bloodstock manager Steve O’Connor said Sir Owen elected to retain a number of fillies to race this year, including Lady Of Camelot, who is almost certain to line up in the Gimcrack Stakes.

“From the time she was born at Newgate, she was a filly we’ve had a lot of time for,” O’Connor said. 

“They expected her to be early and Adrian and Gai have done a really good job getting her to this stage and Brett [Prebble, jockey] was really happy with her. 

“Miss Debutante has been a marvel for Sir Owen. The first two are Group winners and it’d be fantastic if she added to that, particularly as they are by three different sires.”

Waterhouse and Bott also prepared Lady Tassort, the first crop daughter of Newgate Farm’s Tassort, who showed brilliant early speed to win her 845-metre heat in 48.98 seconds and her last 600 metres in 33.31 seconds.

Bred by Bell River Thoroughbreds, Lady Tassort was purchased by Tracey Rook for $40,000 at the 2022 Inglis Australian Weanling Sale.

Her syndicate of owners were overjoyed with the filly’s all-the-way barrier trial win while Newgate’s Field was equally delighted with Lady Tassort’s performance as the Hunter Valley farm looks to build on the platform of her sire Tassort, a Godolphin-bred and raced stallion who won the 2018 Golden Gift (1100m) and finished second to Time To Reign (Time For War) in the 2019 Silver Slipper (Gr 2, 1100m) before his career was cut short by injury.

Emirates Park and Newgate bought Tassort from Godolphin to stand at stud. 

“He had freaky two-year-old speed and his first triallers seem to have inherited that. He is a very well-bred horse and I am hearing good things from the trainers, but it’s early days,” Field said of the stallion.

“A swarm of top breeders bought breeding rights in him, so everyone’s sharing the upside together, and let me tell you, when they break 49 seconds, they can win the Gimcrack.

Adrian has been very high on her for the past few weeks. He actually called me last week and said she’s very good. Bring on the Gimcrack.”

Bott also has a high opinion of the John Singleton-bred and raced Gerringong, the second winner for Blue Point yesterday, revealing the owner elected to keep the filly rather than put her through last month’s on-farm Strawberry Hill Stud dispersal sale. 

She won heat ten in 49.46 seconds, ahead of the Maher and Eustace-trained Erno’s Cube (Rubick), who was Victorian-based John Allen’s only ride for the day.

“She is a beautiful filly going forward and I’ve been most impressed by the Blue Point progeny as a whole. She’s been a great example for us,” Bott said. 

“There’s a lot of physical improvement to come with her and I think she’s a filly that’s going to only continue to improve, particularly as she gets over a little bit further.”

Capitalist (Written Tycoon) filly Celestial Bling, a $300,000 purchase by Trilogy Racing and Waterhouse and Bott, won heat four, the first of two trial winners yesterday for her breeder Bateman, whose portfolio is managed by Harron.

She is the second foal out of Starry (Exceed And Excel), herself a half-sister to Group 2 winner Zululand (Fastnet Rock) and a sister to the stakes-placed Chicago Bull.

“One thing about her, she was good through the line, so I am sure she will take good improvement from that. At home in the lead-up, we thought she’d be quite sharp,” Bott said. 

Harron added: “She was a gorgeous filly who Gai and Adrian and Bruce [Slade] picked up and she looks like she’s going to have a really good chance in the Gimcrack.”

Runaway Vixen (Zoustar) won heat eight under jockey Rachel King for Waterhouse and Bott ahead of stablemate Zoubelle (Zoustar).

Owned by syndicator Bennett Racing, Runaway Vixen was a $370,000 purchase from the Widden draft at the Gold Coast, and is out of Listed winner Fox Swift (Foxwedge).

“It’s probably one of the first times I’ve sat on her, but she’s very professional. She has got a lot of natural speed,” King said. 

“She wanted to have a little look around up the straight and she was on the rail the whole way, so she’ll take a lot of benefit from that.”

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