On The Watch

Tassort’s future looks bright after clocking fast sectional times in impressive debut performance

It may have only been a field of four, but the Godolphin-raced two-year-old Tassort (Brazen Beau) stamped himself a colt with a very bright future with an impressive debut performance, clocking fast sectional times in winning at Rosehill on Saturday.

After being smartly away, he settled nicely for James McDonald, third on the rails, before forcing into clear running halfway down the straight and then showed a great turn of foot in racing away to win the Golden Gift (1100m) easily by just over five lengths.

Time for the 1100 metre journey was 1:03.88 (11.61 200m rate), equivalent to 1200 metres in 1:09.68, sound time but it was Tassort’s 200 metre breakdown that revealed the full merit of his win.

Clocked from the 1000 metre point, Tassort ran 10.56, 11.26 (400m in 21.82), 11.41 (600m in 33.23), 10.96 (800m in 44.19) and 11.38 to give the colt a fast last 1000 metre time of 55.57.

Trainer James Cummings and rider James McDonald did not conceal their delight, both suggesting that he is a quality colt they hold in high regard.

A half-brother to Godolphin’s 2016 Golden Rose Stakes (Gr 1, 1400m) winner Astern (Medaglia D’Oro), Tassort has suddenly come firmly into contention for the Golden Slipper Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m) in March with most betting agencies now having him their $6.00 favourite.

And while Tassort overshadowed his opposition on Saturday, especially over the latter stages, the runner-up Spaceboy (Deep Field) deserves acknowledgment.

Also having his first start, Spaceboy showed very good pace to lead, beat off a challenge on straightening, got a break at the 300 metres, tired in the closing stages but still had enough in hand to take second, a short-head in advance of Jonah (Hinchinbrook).

Spaceboy’s 200 metre breakdown (from the 1000 metres) was: 10.54, 11.27 (400m in 21.81), 11.36 (600m in 33.17), 11.19 (800m in 44.36) and 12.28 to give the Gary Portelli-trained colt a final 1000 metre time of 56.64.

Meanwhile, prominent West Australian owner-breeders Bob and Sandra Peters enjoyed a memorable day at Ascot in winning three of the six stakes races, including the main features the WA Guineas (Gr 2, 1600m) and the Railway Stakes (Gr 1, 1600m).

In the WA Guineas, their filly Arcadia Queen (Pierro) had a good trip behind a quick pace before racing away to score by three lengths in the fast time of 1:34.95.

The talented filly, who has progressed quickly after winning a Belmont maiden (1200m) on September 19 to take out a Group 2 on Saturday, also returned impressive closing sectionals.

Arcadia Queen was timed to run her last 1200 metres in 1:10.32, last 1000 metres in 58.90, last 800 metres in 46.76, last 600 metres in 35.01, last 400 metres in 22.98 with her final 200 metres in a quick 11.30.

However, the Railway Stakes victory provided many more anxious moments after their classy mare Galaxy Star (Redoute’s Choice) settled near the tail of the 15-horse field.

But leading jockey William Pike saved the day, steering her along the rails from the 600 metre before easing deeper and into clear running at the 200 metres, Galaxy Star then dashed clear to win impressively by almost two lengths.

Time for the 1600 metres was an impressive 1:34.08 with Galaxy Star also running fast closing sectionals with her last 1200 metres in 1:08.32, last 1000 metres in 57.08, last 800 metres in 45.24, last 600 metres in 33.88, last 400 metres in 22.58 with her final 200 metres in 11.40.

Galaxy Star has a highly consistent record, now winning ten (with three placings) from 13 starts, Saturday being her second Group win and her first at Group One.

Arcadia Queen and Galaxy Star now progress to the Kingston Town Classic (Gr 1, 1800m) at Ascot on Saturday week where they head betting markets with the former, to be ridden by William Pike, the $3.00 favourite and Galaxy Star at $5.00.

Earlier in the day, the Peters-raced stayer Mississippi Delta (High Chaparral) took her record to seven wins from 12 starts with her first stakes success in taking out the Tattersall’s Cup (Listed, 2100m).

After travelling nicely in sixth place under William Pike, Mississippi Delta drew away over the closing stages to score comfortably by two lengths in a good staying performance.

Time for the 2100m distance was 2:11.45 (12.51 200m rate) with the mare running strong closing sectionals.

Mississippi Delta clocking 59.35 for her last 1000 metres, 46.52 (last 800 metres), 34.96 (last 600m) 23.03 (last 400m) with her final 200 metres in 11.46.

The five-year-old mare is in the stable of Grant and Alana Williams, as too Arcadia Queen and Galaxy Star, and she looks destined to be quite a force in upcoming West Australian black type staying races considering in her progressive form and her stout pedigree.