Orastario and Zelig have plenty in common apart from promising last-start victories at Belmont.
The four year-olds are by Mungrup Stud stallions Oratorio (Aus) and Danehill Express and both scored first-up wins under leading jockey Willie Pike on Wednesday.
Orastario (4m Oratorio – Chassis Leica Dane by Nothin’ Leica Dane) produced an eye-catching performance to score a last-to-first victory in the Cockburn Senior Centre Hcp (1200m). “She showed plenty of ability during her first prep,” trainer Ross Price said. “I told Willie to let her settle and get comfy before working home.
“She has a nice turn of foot and has a future in fillies and mares races.” Orastario had won on debut at Bunbury in February but was sidelined for surgery to correct a wind infirmity.
Orastario helped her sire Oratorio ($423K) maintain his lead on top of the Sunspeed premiership from Bletchley Park ($388).
Zelig also resumed after a six-month spell following a maiden win at Bunbury in February. He was getting tired in the final stages but held on to win by a nose in the Skyy Vodka Hcp (1000m).
“He’s tough and more than handy,” trainer Lou Luciani said. “He was probably a bit under-done and was peaking on the line. Willie gave him a soft ride and I think there are more wins ahead.”
Zelig (4g Danehill Express – La Coureuse by Eternity Range) is a homebred for Luciani, Lex Piper and Brian Bradley. His dam won races at Ascot and Belmont for the same partnership.
Danehill Express has two crops racing and is fourth on the Sunspeed table behind Oratorio, Bletchley Park and Blackfriars. Fellow Mungrup sire McFlirt fills out the Top 5.
Mungrup Stud stands Oratorio for $13,750 (inc gst) service fee and Danehill Express is available for $8,800 (inc gst).
– Karl Patterson