Saturday’s meeting at Eagle Farm was the final day of Brisbane’s Winter Carnival and the carnival closed with a bang for the team in red!
It was a winning double for Triple Crown Syndications with Smartedge (by Smart Missile) winning race 5 and then Brave Song (by Your Song) duly saluted on race 9, the Group 3 WJ Healy Stakes.
The talented Smartedge was travelling a long way back in the field and spotting the leaders quite some margin before hoop Larry Cassidy started looking for the right run and pushed the button. Smartedge responded with his outstanding turn-of-foot and flashed home to grab the impressive victory on the line.
The in-form Brave Song had laid down three consecutive 2nds (and very impressive 2nds at that) prior to Saturday’s Healy Stakes. He kept drawing the outside gates and as a result was just getting too far back against quality opposition before reeling off closing sectionals that only very talented horses can produce. An improved barrier and terrific ride by Blake Shinn made all the difference as Brave Song stormed home to a comfortable and well deserved win.
Both horses have been primed for these victories by Peter & Paul Snowden and whilst Smartedge has returned to Sydney in search of his next targets, Brave Song has gone to the paddock for a brief spell before coming back to target the Spring Carnival.
A big congratulations to both sets of our owners!!
There’s every chance Michele Morley didn’t need a plane to fly back to Sydney on Sunday.
Morley had ventured to Brisbane on Saturday to watch Brave Song go around in the Group Three WJ Healy Stakes over 1200m at Eagle Farm but, 300m from home, it appeared her 4YO sprinter was going to need a fair amount of luck.
Ah, the irony. In Brave Song’s previous three starts this campaign the flashy bay had run second in the Group Three Hall Mark at Randwick – beaten a long neck after drawing barrier 10 in a field of 11; finished second at Scone in the Listed Luskin Star, three quarters of a length off the winner after jumping from the next to outside gate and; then, in the Group Two Moreton Cup at Doomben on 1 June – barrier eight in a field of eight – he missed by a lip.
In the Healy however, the gods were smiling as Brave Song drew barrier one, yet – wouldn’t you know it – he still found himself behind a wall of horses approaching the business end of the race.
Even sweeter then for Morley and her fellow owners when Brave Song powered through, taking the lead at the 100m mark and scoring with plenty in hand.
Saturday’s victory brings Brave Song’s tally to six wins and seven placings from 18 starts for $537,870 in prizemoney, with the Your Song gelding’s previous best being the Listed Ladbrokes Village Stakes last October.
“You simply can’t describe the feeling when your horse wins a race like that,” said an elated Morley. “We bought into Brave Song through Triple Crown Syndications and we’re in with a terrific bunch of owners … and I reckon about two thirds of them were there at Eagle Farm. Incredible!”
Morley first got involved in racehorse ownership around three years ago, purchasing a small share in another Triple Crown runner: multiple city winner, Poetic Charmer.
“My husband grew up around horses and he got me interested, but you have your priorities with a young family. However, with the kids all grown up, I started doing quite a bit of research into ownership,” Morley explains. “Chris and Michael (Ward) have done a fantastic job at Triple Crown and I’ve currently got four small shares in horses with them. Brave Song’s my first stakeswinner though and what a fantastic horse … he’s taken us from Sydney to Melbourne, back to Sydney, to Scone and now Brisbane. Some people can go a lifetime without a horse like this and we know how lucky we are. It’s been an amazing ride.
“I’ve always been a huge fan of (trainers) Peter and Paul Snowden too and probably even a bigger fan after Saturday. They’re really down to earth.
“A few of the other people in Brave Song live relatively close by but the thing I’ve found about Triple Crown is that even the owners in the other syndicates will ring up and wish you luck before a race.
“It’s not about the money … sure, when you get a good one it pays a few bills, but there’s no amount of money in the world that will give you a thrill like I experienced on Saturday. Highly recommended!”
Brave Song is one of three stakes winners for Widden Stud’s Group One BTC Cup winner, Your Song, and is a half brother to three winners, including another 6-time winner in Gangster’s Choice.
Brave Song’s dam, Brave Choice, meanwhile, is a winning daughter of the remarkable dual Group One star, Bravery, dam of nine winners (from as many to race), including Group Two winner, Brave Prince and stakes winner, Valourina, in turn, the dam of stakes winners Timbourina, Media and Cardinal Virtue. Indeed, other black type winning descendants include Group One Railway Stakes winner, Galaxy Star, dual Perth Cup winner, Star Exhibit, Noire and Enticing Star – all stakes winners this season.
Usually purchasing around 18 yearlings annually, Triple Crown’s Chris and Michael Ward spotted Brave Song among the Yarraman Park Stud draft at the 2016 Inglis Sydney Classic Yearling Sale, eventually paying $67,500 for the privilege.
“It was a pretty good day at the office for Triple Crown with Smartedge winning his fourth race earlier in the Eagle Farm program,” Chris Ward enthused. “As for Brave Song, he’s got quite a few options following Saturday’s win … he’ll go out for a short break now, but will stay up at Washpool Lodge in Queensland and try and catch some of that sunshine.
“Brave Song will most likely be targeted at those new million dollar sprints in November: The Hunter at Newcastle and The Gong at Kembla.
“He’s always been an ‘eye catcher’ … a magnificent physical type and a really good mover. Basically ticks all the boxes. He’s from the first crop of Your Songs and while a lot of them go early, as Brave Song did, they seem to get even better as they mature.
“Brave Song is certainly on an upward trend and I really think he can take it to the next level.”
HOOFNOTE: It was announced last week that Yulong Investments has again secured the coveted ‘slot’ for Triple Crown’s star performer, Redzel, in this year’s $14 million The Everest.
The only horse to win the two runnings of The Everest thus far, Redzel has just recently returned to work after a mixed autumn campaign which yielded no wins but included seconds in the Group Two Challenge and Victory Stakes.
“We’re rapt with the way Redzel’s come back,” Ward adds. “He had a few niggling problems last time in which we’ve got sorted and he’s really got that old attitude back. The plan at this stage is for him to resume in the (Group Three) Concorde Stakes (over 1000m at Royal Randwick) in September.”
Redzel won the Concorde last year when resuming, then ran fifth in the Group Two Premiere later that month before going on to capture the Everest.
- by Greg Tobin (AusHorse)
In-form sprinter Brave Song has produced three blinding runs this preparation for three very close 2nds. It is fair to say all three runs were winning performances without actually winning as each time he drew the unfriendly outside barriers and by default ended up too far back and giving very good horses like Trekking too many lengths head-start.
Saturday’s WJ Healy Stakes at Eagle Farm maps very differently for Brave Song. This time he has drawn barrier 1 and jockey Blake Shinn will have the opportunity to have him a bit closer in the run. Triple Crown’s Chris Ward says “It is a quality field with some very talented runners. It is a Group 3 race after-all but in saying that, it probably looks a two horse race on paper. Brave Song and Victorem look the main hopes to me and they have drawn next to each other. No doubt both horses will need the right luck at the right time to find the gaps when needed.”
Brave Song’s closing sectionals have been nothing short of exceptional all preparation and Victorem was impressive in winning the Hinkler last start. “Both horses tend to get back and flash home late, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see them coming home together in what may be a ding-dong battle to the line. We wouldn’t swap Brave Song for anyone and Blake is in outstanding form at the moment. It’s going to be a great race.” Ward said.
MISTEED, the 3yo filly by Exceed And Excel, had to show her scintillating turn-of-foot on Wednesday to score a stunning win at Canterbury. Jockey Blake Shinn had her travelling beautifully in a mid-field position but half way down the straight it looked as though she might be a good thing beaten. It wasn’t until inside the last 100m that a split came and she exploded through for what was a comfortable win on the line. Misteed is a very talented filly and relishes the wet track conditions which is a big bonus at this time of year. We should be in for a nice preparation with her.
Congratulations to her excited owners and well done to Snowden Racing and Blake Shinn!
THE DUAL Everest winner Redzel will have a $1 million race named after him after Racing NSW announced further injections of prize money to the Everest Carnival for spring 2019.
The race, known as the ‘Winners’ Stakes, will be named after the Everest winner from the corresponding year, and will be run over 1300m at Rosehill Gardens under set weights and penalties, on the same card as the new $7.5 million Golden Eagle on November 2. For the 2019 edition, the race will therefore be known as The Redzel Stakes.
Redzel, who took both the inaugural running of The Everest in 2017 and retained his title in 2018, in front of a record crowd at Royal Randwick, is now the second highest prize money earner in Australian Racing history, with $15.56 million in Stakes earnings.
The announcement of a supporting race comes amid further changes to The Everest Carnival announced on Monday, with two new standalone meetings at Kembla Grange and Newcastle both featuring $1 million races, as well as additional races that include the $500,000 Silver Eagle, a lead up race for the 4YOs into the Golden Eagle to be run over 1300m, and the Hot Danish Stakes – a $500,000 event over 1400m for the fillies and mares.
Total prize money for The Everest Carnival now stands at a colossal $45 million, with The Everest now boasting a prize pool of $14 million. Click here for a full list of changes to the spring program.
BRAVE SONG will look to give Triple Crown owners Group-race glory on consecutive weekends when he takes on the Group 2 Moreton Cup at Doomben on Saturday.
Following on from Military Zone’s superb success in the Group 3 Fred Best last weekend, Brave Song arrives in Brisbane with every chance of becoming Triple Crown’s 12th individual Group-race winner after two runner-up performances in Stakes company this preparation.
The latest of those was at Scone in the Luskin Star Stakes, as the leading son of Your Song rattled home from the rear but was just enable to catch the winner Trekking.
He’ll have to contend with another wide barrier draw here as he jumps from the widest alley on Saturday, however trainer Peter Snowden feels he has every chance of coming away successful.
“He’s been nice and bright in his work,” said Snowden. “He needs a little of luck from that draw in what’s a very good field but we’ve got an excellent rider on board in James McDonald and the way he’s been performing of late gives him every chance on Saturday.
“If he’s able to get right run we know he’s good late and we feel he’s up to this company.”
A strong contingent take their place at Rosehill for the Triple Crown team, with Reelem In Ruby chasing a second win of her preparation in the Fillies & Mares handicap over 1400m, while Onslaught and Poetic Charmer return first up in the Benchmark 88 Handicap over 1200m. Island Missile will look to build on his excellent second first up when stepping up to the 1500m tomorrow.
STAKES WINNING mare SECRET TRAIL fetched a superb result at the Magic Millions Broodmare Sale when selling in foal to Newgate Farm’s Russian Revolution for $700,000, as Widden Stud purchased the daughter of Denman.
A winner of the Listed Bright Shadow Stakes at Doomben on her penultimate start on the track, Secret Trail earned over $500,000 in prize money after her $135,000 yearling purchase, in a glittering career that included a second placed finish at the Magic Millions in 2018.
She will now follow in the footsteps of fellow Triple Crown Stakes winning mares to head to Widden Stud, including Group 1 winner Peggy Jean who sold for $1 million in 2016, and Group 2 winner Flying Snitzel.
A great result for her owners and one that caps an excellent journey in racehorse ownership for the group! Congratulations to all and thanks goes to Yarraman Park for preparing our mares in such excellent order.
THE new $7.5 million Golden Eagle is on the radar of Triple Crown’s Military Zone after a stunning victory in the Group 3 Fred Best Classic at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Sydney Racing’s newest feature event was announced in December last year as a 1500m race for the four-year-olds, and will act as the final act in the three part trilogy that includes the Golden Slipper for two-year-olds and Golden Rose for three-year-olds.
Military Zone, the leading Australian progeny of boom sire Epaulette, secured his third win at Stakes level when powering home at the Brisbane track to defeat Baccarat Baby by a length. The $140,000 purchase from the Inglis Premier Sale has now earned $463,530 for his owners, who duly celebrated in style.
The three-year-old was a nomination for the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap in a fortnight’s time, however the decision was taken to prepare him for a spring preparation and a potential berth in the lucrative Golden Eagle at Rosehill Gardens.
“It’s a good dilemma to be in with the horse and we’d had our eye on the Stradbroke for a little while,” said Triple Crown’s Chris Ward to the Weekend Big Sports Breakfast team.
“But we don’t want to over do things with him at this stage. He’s not the finished product at the moment and it’s a case of either going one more or pulling up stumps, and at this moment in time I think we’re best off pulling up stumps. I think there’s a lot in store for him in the future.
“We’ve had a very high opinion of him from for a long time. He’s been one of those who has showed nice ability from day one and keeps progressing.
“Certainly a race like the Golden Eagle is in the back of the mind. There’s a nice $7.5 million carrot there as a 4Yo race over 1500m which could be right up his alley.”
Photo: Darren Winningham
EPAULETTE continues his momentum as the land’s most exciting young sire as he claimed yet another 2YO Group win to his name as She Shao Fly sprouted wings to win the Group 2 Sires’ Produce at Morphetville on Saturday.
Already with a Champion 2YO to his name, Epaulette has the same number of first-crop Group winners as Zoustar, making him one of the most successful first-season sires in Australian history.
His progeny include multiple Group 1 winner SOQRAT, as well as Triple Crown’s dual Stakes winner MILITARY ZONE who takes on Group 1 features in Brisbane next month.
With just limited shares available in our Epaulette filly who is a half-sister to a 2YO Stakes placegetter, now is the perfect time to join the Triple Crown & Epaulette winning team as we race this filly towards the Golden Slipper!
EPAULETTE ex SLEIGHT OF HAND Filly
• By EPAULETTE – the sire of CHAMPION 2YO SOQRAT, and with more Group winners than any other Australian first-season sire in history!
• The same sire as our outstanding two-time Stakes winner MILITARY ZONE & recent Randwick winner CHARRETERA!
• Both the breeder and Three Bridges Farm who reared her have bought back into the horse – a great vote of confidence in the filly!!
• A 2YO STAKES WINNING FAMILY!!
• Half sister to the multiple winning & Stakes placed 2YO RAMPAGE – Our filly is a massive upgrade in stallion!!
• Out of a daughter of Leading 2YO Free Handicap Filly & multiple Group-winning juvenile LODORE MAGIC!
• Out of a half-sister to the dam of 2YO Group 2 winner MS FUNOVITS
• EPAULETTE is a sire off to a flyer with Champion 2YO and Group 1 winner, SOQRAT, Australian stakes winners MERYL, KHULASSA & SHE’S SHAO FLY, February 2019 black type winners COSSETOT and ROCK DOVE and, of course, Triple Crown’s Gosford Guineas & Hawkesbury Guineas hero, MILITARY ZONE
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