Heytesbury Stud homebred Airglow couldn’t have been more impressive winning on debut at Belmont on Wednesday.
The Husson Lightning youngster burst through a gap to blouse out his rivals in a blanket finish to the Westspeed Nursery Hcp (1000m). Front-runner Coruscation looked home when he beat off odds-on favourite Super Eighty Eight at the furlong but was run over the final few strides.
“I liked the way he hit the line,” trainer Dion Luciani said. “He was held up and then finished the race off like a good horse.
Airglow (2g Husson Lightning – Tesstar by Testa Rossa) was retained by Heytesbury Stud owner Paul Holmes a Court after failing to reach a $20,000 reserve at the 2012 Perth Magic Millions. “He won a Lark Hill trial late last year but wasn’t quite ready so we gave him more time,” Luciani continued. “He ended up getting a pretty good run today despite the awkward draw so I was disappointed I didn’t have a bet by the time they got to the 600m.”
Airglow is the second winner from Tesstar who cost Holmes a Court $75,000 off the track at the 2007 Magic Millions National Sale. Second-dam Anne Leone (Luskin Star) is a half-sister to 1991 VRC Honda (Emirates) Stakes winner Pontormo.
Heytesbury won the Group 1 Honda five years earlier at Flemington with its homebred hero Chanteclair (Haulpak).
Husson Lightning (Hussonet) was a G3 winner of the Maribyrnong Stakes at Flemington during the 2006 Melbourne Cup carnival and there have been 19 winners to date in his first two crops. He is available at a $5,500 (inc gst) service fee.
Standing alongside him this year are Saxon (Danehill) and newcomer Ouqba (Red Ransom). “Husson Lightning is doing a good job at stud and so is Saxon,” Luciani said. “We have a great relationship with Heytesbury.”
Luciani and his father Lou also train Saxon mare Stacks On who has claimed four city races and earned over $222,000 for Holmes a Court. She is primed to win again at Belmont this Saturday.
Another Saxon in the stable is two year-old filly Bonny Zara who was last seen scoring a brilliant front-running victory at Ascot in October. She defeated Busimiss, Oratism and Vital Importance in what has turned out to be one of the form juvenile races of the season.
– Karl Patterson