As summer racing steps up a notch and we are starting to see some lovely two and three-year-olds emerge it looks like Rich Hill Stud may have bred two good chances going towards the Group One Vodafone Derby following the running of the Auckland Racing Club’s Listed 3YO Salver.
The 2100 metre race was won by Formidable (Shocking[AUS]- Princess Biscotte[AUS]) with The Boy Wonder (Cape Blanco[IRE]- Keep The Passion) a long neck away in second followed by Secret Ambition (Jimmy Choux-Lionstar) in the third place.
Formidable and Secret Ambition are both graduates of Rich Hill’s 2016 NZB Select Sale draft, and Rich Hill proprietor John Thompson is delighted to think that the farm has bred two live Derby colts.
“Formidable looks like one of the better three-year-olds about at the moment and Secret Ambition who ran third in the same race, looks pretty smart as well, to have two colts out of our Select Draft from 2016 is pretty exciting,” said Thompson.
The Shocking (AUS) gelding has won his last two starts and hasn’t been out of the money since he began his three-year-old campaign in October. He had two starts as a two-year-old in the autumn, finishing fifth behind Bostonian and Mofara in the second.
Formidable is the second foal from the Casino Prince mare Biscotte Princess, that is owned by Thompson along with his wife Colleen and his parents Colin and Irene.
Princess Biscotte is an unplaced half sister to the Gr.1 MRC C.F.Orr Stakes winner Bakarda, and three other winners. Her dam by Marscay(AUS) Biscotte was also unraced, but she in turn is out of the Group One winning mare Strawberry Fair.
Strawberry Fair is by Whiskey Road(USA) out of the Todman(AUS) mare Avellino, and she is also the dam of two stakes winners in Taineberry (by Centaine[AUS]) and Galaxy Fair(by Bletchingly[AUS]).
Thompson bought the mare from the Patinack Stud dispersal sale in 2013, and couldn’t be happier with the result.
“If you get a stakes winner in the first three foals it sets the mare up,” he enthused.
“She had one start as a two-year-old and was unplaced, but she didn’t have a two-year-olds pedigree, and I guess when Patinack collapsed she didn’t get to race again, and was sent to stud.
“When I bought her she was in foal to Trusting(AUS), and I guess that didn’t make her very attractive but that foal made $30k and as Isn’t She Elegant has won four races in Australia. The fact she was a half-sister to a group one winner and from a good stakes winning Australian family did appeal and we bought her.
“Physically she is a nice light framed leggy mare, and suited Shocking. She has a filly foal at foot by Proisir(AUS) and is in foal with a nice early service to Vadamos(GER). She has a two-year-old Shocking colt, but unfortunately slipped to Pentire(GB) after that so we don’t have a yearling to sell.”
Secret Ambition on the other hand is the third winner from the in the Pentire(GB) mare Lionstar, herself a winner and a sister to the Listed Port Adelaide Cup winner Richracer. Secret Ambition has had five starts and won a maiden over 1600 metres quite impressively before coping a rocky run in the Listed Trevor Eagle Memorial in the start before the 3YO Salver. - Michelle Saba