Merlo Downs sire El Nino maintained his encouraging start at stud with two winning updates and more black-type in the United States last week.
El Nino (USA) has now sired 8 winners from 14 starters among his first crop three year-olds. He served four seasons in North America before Merlo Downs studmaster Jeff Marlow imported him to Queensland last year.
His filly Sacred Romance won her maiden at Prairie Meadows last Saturday and Little Marie doubled up at Charles Town on Friday.
El Nino flag-bearer Senor Rain added black-type to the mix when he was runner-up in the LR Harry Henson Stakes (1200m) at Hollywood Park on Thursday. Trainer Peter Miller had freshened him up after an unplaced run in the G1 Santa Anita Derby (1800m) on April 7.
Senor Rain (3c El Nino – Make My Marq by Marquetry) rallied to the lead at Hollywood Park and was well on his way to victory until American Act lunged right on the line to win by a nose.
Senor Rain’s jockey Mario Gutierrez couldn’t believe the result. “It took a nice horse to beat him,” he explained. “I saw American Act coming but it was hard to tell because he was way out wide.”
El Nino (Storm Cat) stands with Changeintheweather (Gone West) and Garrison Savannah (Danehill) at Merlo Downs near Rockhampton.