Darley claimed a Group 1 winning double for the second Saturday in a row with Complacent (Spring Champion Stakes) and Long John (Caulfield Guineas) yesterday.
Sheikh Mohammed’s Australian operation had won the Flight Stakes with Guelph (Exceed And Excel) and Epsom Hcp with Boban (Bernardini) last weekend.
Complacent (3c Authorized – Insouciance by Quest For Fame) was given a great ride in transit by Christian Reith before sprinting to a match-winning lead at Randwick. “To think he won a maiden at Hawkesbury only two starts ago,” trainer Peter Snowden said. “He’s a talented and will make a lovely horse in the autumn.”
His sire Authorized (Montjeu) was re-routed to Chile this year instead of returning to Darley Kelvinside. He had shuttled from Dalham Hall to Australia for four years.
“The Victoria Derby is just around the corner and he will tell us whether to keep going,” he added. “There’s a lot of upside to this horse.”
Snowden was speaking from Melbourne where Darley gelding Long John defeated a super-strong field in the G1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m). With all the breaks in running under Kerrin McEvoy, he sprinted to the front rounding the home turn and held off grey rival Divine Calling to score by a half-length.
Long John (3g Street Cry – Hosiery by Night Shift) has won 5 of his 7 starts with prior black-types victories at Flemington in the LR Anzac Day Stakes and LR Henry Bucks Stakes. He is a half-brother to LR Breeder’s Plate winner Ribald (Strategic).
“He had to dig deep and keep fighting to withstand Divine Calling’s finishing run,” Snowden said. “It was a very brave win by a very good horse.”
Darley’s private trainer wouldn’t be drawn into possible starts for Long John in the Cox Plate and/or Victoria Derby. “We will think hard about the Cox Plate but it’s a big ask,” Snowden said. “The Derby might be a better option.”
Darley champion Street Cry had sired Whobegotyou to a Caulfield Guineas triumph in 2008. He now has 14 Group 1 winners among a total of 67 stakes winners and stands at Darley Kelvinside for a $110,000 (inc gst) fee.