Scenic Lodge sire Blackfriars warmed up for a full tilt at the G2 Perth Cup on New Year’s Day with another promising winner in Adelaide on Saturday.
Misty Eyes (4g Blackfriars – Festival Twig by Papal Power) overcame a torrid run in transit to prevail in the Veolia Hcp (1250m) at Morphettville. The win prompted trainer Tony McEvoy to predict a bright future for the grey gelding in the year ahead.
“Blackfriars is doing a terrific job as a sire,” McEvoy said. “Misty Eyes won that on pure ability carrying 60kg and sitting three-wide the entire trip.”
Misty Eyes was a $26,000 buy at the 2010 Perth Magic Millions but didn’t debut until January this year. “He was still mentally immature,” McEvoy recalled. “His physique was great but he didn’t really know what racing was all about.”
The four-year-old gelding was solidly supported to start a $2.80 favourite on Saturday and the victory helped McEvoy join Richard Jolly and Leon Macdonald on top of the Adelaide trainers’ premiership with 14 city wins.
McEvoy has always rated Blackfriars highly from his days as a long-serving lieutenant at Lindsay Park. The Danehill colt won the 1999 G1 Victoria Derby for trainer Peter Hayes and Swettenham owner Robert Sangster.
Misty Eyes is the final foal of Flemington winner Festival Twig. Her younger half-sister My Brightia (Bellotto) was a G1 winner of the 2006 VRC Oaks.
Blackfriars is gunning for a hat-trick of Sunspeed titles and Adelaide based gelding Eclair Surprise has been his chief earner this season. He was a Listed winner of the Murray Bridge Cup and Diamond Jubilee Plate at Flemington prior to a G3 victory in the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown.
Blackfriars mare Pop Culture will take over on top with a win in the $500,000 Perth Cup (2400m) on Tuesday. A last-start winner of the WA St Leger, she is right in the market at $7.50. The Blackfriars brothers Playing God and God Has Spoken are both each-way value at $26 in Perth’s premier staying event.
– Karl Patterson