Saturday Spotlight

Three to follow on the weekend

Last Command (Rosehill, Race 3 #5)

TRAINER: Michael Freedman

RACE: Baillieu (Group 3, 1400m)

There will be plenty of eyes on the 2024 edition of the Baillieu with red hot favourite Linebacker (Super Seth) ready to tackle his way into Sires’ Produce Stakes (Gr 1, 1400m) field.

However, there is another young colt in this race not getting the recognition he deserves, coming from the underrated Michael Freedman camp.

Last Command (Tassort) was a gutsy winner second up at Newcastle in the Paul Perry Handicap (1300m) for two-year-olds at Newcastle.

He was able to collar another boom colt on that occasion Just Party (Justify) in the final stride to break his maiden.

His strength through the line was impressive and he showed a great will to win.

In the colours of Darby Racing, it is no surprise to see the team identify another potential star, but his story isn’t as simple as that.

This son of Tassort (Brazen Beau) is a three-time veteran of the sales ring.

Originally a $55,000 purchase for Bayside Bloodstock from his breeder Emirates Park at the Magic Millions National Weanling Sale, Last Command was passed onto Moorillah Pastoral for $65,000 at the Bell River Thoroughbreds draft at the Magic Millions Adelaide Yearling Sale. 

His rise to the top wasn’t done yet! Once Darby Racing got sight of him they made sure they got the final say, purchasing him for $160,000 at the 2023 Magic Millions Gold Coast 2YO In Training Sale, consigned at the auction by Nolen Racing.

Last Command is the third winner from as many to race for the winning Encosta de Lago (Fairy King) mare Olympic Dream, a daughter of the dual Listed stakes-winner and multiple Group-placed Pinezero (Danzero).

While Darby clearly had tickets on the colt from the sales ring, it appears he has impressed them even further on the track.

In a big push to his talent, Darby recently paid $240,000 for his brother from the Emirates Park draft at the 2024 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale. 

All connections of Last Command will be hoping he brings it to the forefront this weekend and rockets into contention for the Sires’ Produce. 

One to add to your black book as he further develops.

Ameena (Flemington, Race 4 #4)

TRAINER: Anthony & Sam Freedman

RACE: Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes (Gr 3, 1200m)

The Tassort love continues, this time in Melbourne with one of his daughters, Ameena, tackling the Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes (Gr 3, 1200m).

Firm in the market at around $2, this lightly raced filly has looked electric in her two starts to date dominating from the front and is deserving of her first crack at a black type event.

With speed to burn, it is hard to see the 1200 metres stopping her picket fence form line from ending.

Trainers Anthony and Sam Freedman have insisted to punters that they still haven’t seen the best of her.

With the Percy Sykes Stakes (Gr 2, 1200m) in Sydney her grand final, they would have left plenty in the locker for this campaign.

Ameena was the first winner for Emaan (Harbour Watch), a winning half-sister to Boomex (Exceed And Excel), the dam of Group 3 winner Marboosha (Dream Ahead). 

Tassort has five winners from 14 starters including the Sweet Embrace Stakes (Gr 2, 1200m) winner Manaal.

With all this recent success it is no surprise to see the surge in popularity that Tassort is having.

In fact, he was the most popular sire at Newgate Farm last Spring covering 231 mares, making him the busiest in Australia.

As for Ameena, she continues to grow in professionalism and looks the complete package.

It is going to take a special performance to reel her in this Saturday.

Marais (Wyong, Race 5 #6)

TRAINER: Gerald Ryan and Stirling Alexiou

RACE: Maiden Plate (1200m)

Marais, a two-year-old colt by Capitalist (Written Tycoon), oozes class yet he looks like he still has a while to go.

He has been awfully green at his two race starts to date but has shown great improvement at each trip to the track.

He threw the race away on debut when he refused to run straight, before missing in a photo second up.

Now third up and rising to the 1200 metres, he can settle better in the run.

By Newgate’s Capitalist out of the Duporth (Red Ransom) mare Gone To Paris, Marais’ connections will be hoping he lives up to his impeccable breeding soon.

Sold by Highgrove Stud and Darling Downs, he was a $220,000 purchase at the 2023 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale.

Gone To Paris has produced four foals to race with for three winners, including Marais’ brother Euros who has gone on to be competitive in Saturday grade races.

The talent is there, now it is just up to the gun Ryan & Alexiou team to get the results out of him.

To see more from The Great Tipoff’s Luke Hovhanesian, click here.

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