First stakes winner by Turffontein

Blue Gum Farm resident Turffontein sired his first stakes winner in the G2 VRC Edward Manifold Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on Saturday.

His filly Fontein Ruby defied running down to score by a head from late closer Maastricht and her stablemate Crafty.  “She could back-up in the G1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) next week,” trainer Robert Smerdon said.   “She has the right constitution to do it.”

Fontein Ruby (3f Turffontein – Charming Ruby by Rubiton) was a $50,000 buy from the Blue Gum draft at the 2013 Inglis Melbourne Premier yearling sale.  “It’s an even year of fillies,” Smerdon added.  “When they’re fit and well you’ve got to take the initiative.”

Smerdon indicated Fontein Ruby and Crafty (Manhattan Rain) both have the G1 VRC Oaks (2500m) as their grand finals this spring.  The Aquanita trainer completed the Manifold Stakes – VRC Oaks double with Mosheen two years ago.

Winning jockey Mark Zahra said he wanted to be positive aboard Fontein Ruby.  “Going to the front probably won us the race,” he said.  “She relaxed well in the lead and then gave a kick to fight them off.”

Fontein Ruby had shown ability as a two year-old for previous trainer Tony Vasil.  She had been placed on debut at Caulfield on Boxing Day and in the $250,000 Inglis Premier at Mornington in February.

After transferring to Smerdon, she won at Sandown in July and then doubled up at Flemington at the start of this season.  Her dam Charming Ruby has a 2yo filly named Eloquent Ruby (Turffontein) and a yearling filly by Master Of Design.

The mare is an unraced half-sister to G2 Tristarc Stakes winner Infinite Grace.  Second dam Infinite Charm (Tristino) is a half-sister to dual G1 Cox Plate winner Fields Of Omagh.

Turffontein (Johannesburg) stands for a $7,700 (inc gst) fee at Blue Gum Farm.  He was a Group 1 winner of the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield and William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley.