Emerald a Gem for Churchill Downs

Churchill Downs sired his first winner when Emerald Downs scored a two length victory in the Electrical Trades Union Hcp (1200m) at Moonee Valley on Friday night.

Emerald Downs (2f Churchill Downs – Spirit Of Grace by Dr Grace) is one of five starters to date for the Blue Gum Farm freshman.  She had been a victim of severe inference at her only other start in the Listed Blue Diamond Preview on Australia Day.

“We knew she could gallop and we disregarded that first run,” stable spokesman Graham Woolston said.  “She’s only small and will probably go out to grow now.”

The winner was a $135,000 buy from Blue Gum at the 2010 Inglis Melbourne Premier yearling sale.  She is owned by the same connections that raced her older half-brother Turffontein (Johannesburg).  Cummings trained him to win the G1 MVRC William Reid Stakes and G1 MRC Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes.

Turffontein has just completed his first season at Blue Gum for a $13,750 service fee alongside Astronomer Royal, Churchill Downs and Elvstroem.

Churchill Downs was a brilliant two-year-old who placed in the G1 Golden Slipper and trained on to win the G2 Bill Stutt Stakes at Moonee Valley.  He was also placed in the G1 Ascot Vale Stakes at Flemington behind Gold Edition.

Churchill Downs represents the same Danehill / Sharpen Up cross as Danehill Dancer being out of a Diesis mare.  He has a brother Emerald Downs catalogued for the 2011 Inglis Melbourne Premier yearling sale as Lot 293.  The bay / brown colt is a late November foal.