Vinery sire Testa Rossa has unearthed several late-season winners ready to join his established stars heading to the spring carnivals.
His three year-olds Curfew and Oompa Loompa were super-impressive last week and their victories came shortly after news that Twilight Royale will be set for the G1 Golden Rose in September.
CURFEW produced an awesome performance to win first-up by more than six lengths at Wyong last Thursday. The Darren Smith trained flyer clocked 57.72 seconds in a 1000 metre maiden on a Slow 6 surface, coming home in a sizzling 34.22 seconds for the final 600 metres.
“Gee, that was easy,” jockey Nash Rawiller said when returning to scale. “He’s a real nice horse.
“I had to work to cross over then he relaxed and travelled. I shook him up around the turn and he went from cruising to flat out in three strides!”
Curfew (3g Testa Rossa – Time For Bed by Night Shift) is owned by Dynamic Syndications who bought him from Baramul Stud for $95,000 at the 2011 Gold Coast Magic Millions. He was knocked down straight after older brother Midnight At Ascot (Mossman) won the Magic Millions Country Cup.
“I think we have a very good horse on our hands,” Dynamic manager Dean Watt predicted. “I had priced him at about $60,000 but I knew his value would shoot up after watching Midnight At Ascot.”
OOMPA LOOMPA helped trainer Chris Waller to a history-making victory at Rosehill on Saturday and the consistent gelding can make a name in his own right next season.
Waller passed the Sydney training record held by T J Smith and Gai Waterhouse when the son of Testa Rossa notched his 157th win of the season. It was a courageous effort by the front-runner who defied running down in the straight.
Oompa Loompa (3g Testa Rossa – Lindalay by Honour and Glory) is another Baramul graduate from the 2011 Gold Coast Magic Millions. He has won 5 of 10 starts for prizemoney totalling $237,360 and Saturday’s victory sent him clear as the top BOBS earner this season.
TWILIGHT ROYALE can give Testa Rossa his first Group 1 of the new-season in the $1 million Golden Rose (1400m) on September 14.
Trainer Bjorn Baker isn’t looking too far ahead with his filly despite the lure of a $2.40 million bonus in the LR Scone Guineas next May. She is eligible for the huge pay-day after winning the first two legs of the Inglis Triple Crown.
“We won’t wrap her in cotton wool this spring,” Baker said. “We have paid up for the Golden Rose and she is also entered for the Princess Series.
“I think she is a Group 1 filly and she has a big spring ahead so we can’t worry about what might be in the autumn.”
Twilight Royale (2f Testa Rossa – Royal Season by Royal Academy) won $250,000 Inglis bonus races at Warwick Farm and Mornington before graduating to a G2 victory in the VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes in April.
Baker bought her on speck for $45,000 at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale and she has already collected $487,000 from those three wins. “Everything she did this season, she did on one preparation,” the Kiwi expat explained. “She’s a genuine big race performer and I think she will prove that in the spring.”
Twilight Royale is Testa Rossa’s chief earner this season among 111 individual winners in Australia. They have won 187 races and banked a total of $5.36 million.
Testa Rossa has an amazing overall winning strike-rate of 73% and is arguably the best value-for-money sire in the Hunter Valley. Vinery will stand him for a $27,500 (inc gst) service fee this year.
– Karl Patterson