Circles Of Gold was represented by her sixth winner when Redoute’s Choice colt Altius won the Elvstroem Classic at Swan Hill on Friday. The race is named after his three-quarter brother.
Circles Of Gold is also the dam of Haradasun (Fusaichi Pegasus) and Elvstroem (Danehill) and they both began with Swan Hill wins before launching international careers at the races and at stud.
Her only other foals to race since then have been the Redoute’s Choice colts Coubertin and Altius.
Altius (2c Redoute’s Choice – Circles Of Gold by Marscay) will be spelled immediately for the spring carnival. “He didn’t hit top gear until the race was all over,” Damien Oliver told trainer Tony Vasil yesterday. “He’s a real staying type and he wore them down well in the straight. He’s got a lot of improvement left and is certainly moving in the right direction.”
Those words echoed Vasil’s when describing his older brother Coubertin who arrived at his Caulfield stables two years after Haradasun and Elvstroem. “Coubertin looked more of a stayer,” Vasil recalled. “He didn’t show their turn of foot but he was a better mover than Haradasun and Elvstroem.”
A striking 16.1hh colt, Coubertin won at Sale and Seymour before a suspensory ligament injury curtailed his career after just seven starts. He has been retired and will stand his first season at Laurie and John McCarthy’s Greta West Stud in Victoria at a first-season fee of $4,400 (inc gst).
Altius will be set for the Victoria Derby and another Group 1 triumph for Circles Of Gold would bring back lots of memories for Vasil and owner-breeders Frank Tagg, Garry Moffitt and Frank Meduri.
“Elvstroem started an amazing ride for us,” Vasil stated. “He changed our lives. And then Haradasun came along and we went on another glory ride.”
Elvstroem (Danehill) was a G1 winner of the Victoria Derby and Caulfield Cup before travelling overseas to win the G1 Dubai Duty Free. He was also G1 placed in the Prix d’Ispahan at Longchamp and is now based at Blue Gum Farm.
Haradasun (Fusaichi Pegasus) picked up the baton and ran to G1 wins in the STC George Ryder Stakes and AJC Doncaster and also performed on the international stage when a G1 winner of the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot. He stands at Coolmore.
Altius won’t be the only member of the family gunning for gold at the spring carnival. Circles Of Gold’s 2001 foal Hveger (Danehill) is the dam of Valdemoro who was runner-up in the G1 Victoria Oaks in the spring and the G1 STC Vinery Stud Stakes in the autumn. She was one of the favourites for the G1 AJC Oaks but was set an impossible task when well back behind runaway winner Once Were Wild.
Valdemoro (Encosta de Lago) has been quoted at $26 for the cups and in the spring. She can go one better than Circles Of Gold who was second to Arctic Scent in the 1996 Caulfield Cup.