9 April 2021
Grown Up & Carif
11 November 2019
With the major spring carnival over our spring contenders have grown in stature as a result. Yearling purchases like Battenburg became a new name running third in the Gr1 Spring Champion Stakes at only his fourth career start. Fellow 3yo Craftmanship won the Listed Hill Smith Stakes in Adelaide on the same day, that was his fourth career start also. Battenburg met at their next start on Cox Plate day in the Gr3 Vase running fifth and sixth. Also on Cox Plate day, Ballistic Boy ventured down from his Eagle Farm base to run a great Fourth in the new Million Dollar Bondi Stakes at Randwick. The previous day Stick ‘Em up was forced to venture to the nation’s Capital Canberra to race after several of her scheduled engagements where abandoned meetings. She handled her first attempt at 2000m with aplomb beating older horses well in the process. All of these were 3yo’s however earlier the same week 4yo Into The Abyss ventured back into Stakes company in Victoria after her demolition win in Sydney. She ran a creditable third at Listed level at Geelong.
Craftmanship & Stick ‘Em represented us in the feature spring classics for the boys & girls in the Gr1 VRC Derby & Oaks at Flemington. Both came up a bit short both running 8th with some handy prizemoney and both off limited prior racing. Autumn should be a good space for them. On Derby day at the provincials La Grisa took a big step to a promising career with a commanding win in her third career start and first attempt at in the middle distance range. Other to run places off limited career starts in this period included Instant Attraction & She’ So Savvy.
Homebreds ran well too. Brunetta providing an authoritative much deserved win in provincial Sydney after a string of placings on Melbourne Cup Day. Cup Day in metropolitan Sydney saw a solid second at Randwick by To Your Health. But of all “homebreds” very special mention must go to the lightly raced stayer Carif. Throughout this window he pressed and furthered his claim towards the 2020 Melbourne Cup with a provincial win, 5th at weight for age in the Gr2 Hill Stakes, 2nd in the $500,000 ATC St Leger then to Flemington for 2nd Gr3 Hotham Hcp and backing up and rounding out his spring campaign with a further 2nd in the Gr3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes. In all three of those staying handicaps it took three different Northern Hemisphere bred and raced rivals to beat him. To call Carif simply a Homebred is slightly belittling. He was indeed bred by his owners, the Late Dato’ Tan Chin Nam & spritely octogenarian Tunku Ahmad Yahaya, but he is the product two former yearling purchases who won 12 group 1 races between them and claimed divisional Horse Of The Year Titles themselves in the mighty So You Think and Champion 3yo filly Norzita. Watch this space as Carif will mount a defence of the Cups’ against the foreign horses in the same vein as 2019 Melbourne Cup winner Vow And Declare.
Battenburg was spelled after his run at Moonee Valley as have now many of those mentioned above.