Blackfriars is poised to power through the $3 million mark in earnings this season after a tremendous winning run in April.
The Scenic Lodge champion sired his 22nd stakes winner when Kerrific captured the LR Grandstand Cup at Ascot on April 20 and Charm Destiny notched his 600th win in Australia at Narrogin a day later.
Blackfriars (pictured) has accumulated $2,940,173 in Australian earnings so far this season and the till will keep ticking over when racing switches to Belmont this Saturday.
Adam Durrant’s promising stayer Black Moment gave his sire a successful send-off to the Ascot season last weekend. A homebred for Stan Quinlivan’s Esquin Syndicate, he flew home to score a narrow but impressive victory in the Grand Farm China Hcp (2100m).
“He had to dig deep considering he was giving the second horse 4kg,” Durrant said. “He looks a genuine stayer to me and there’s more wins in the tank when we move across to Belmont.”
Black Moment (5g Blackfriars – Monetary by Southern Appeal) broke his maiden over 2100m at Belmont twelve months ago and then came from last in a capacity field to win the Dayana Plate (2000m).
After finishing third in the LR Belmont Classic (2200m), Durrant spelled him out for another six months and the patient approach will pay dividends during the winter months.
Meanwhile, Durrant is about to farewell his outstanding mare Mabel Grace who earned two free nominations to Blackfriars for wins in the 2011 and 2013 Matchmaker Stakes. “She’s been bucking around her yard and I was tempted to change plans,” he said. “But she’s done a great job and I will send her up to Scenic Lodge next week.”
Her retirement coincided with a possible career-ending injury to up-and-coming stayer Eclair Surprise.
Eclair Surprise (5g Blackfriars – French Scene by Scenic) is the leading earner for the Scenic Lodge sire this season winning four races including the LR Diamond Jubilee Plate at Flemington and G3 Eclipse Stakes at Sandown during the spring carnival.
Trainer Phillip Stokes and jockey Dom Tourneur were looking forward to a Group 1 assignment with him in the Singapore Cup before the setback. “Scans showed it’s a serious tendon injury,” Tourneur revealed. “It could put him out for good.”
Eclair Surprise has earned $395,000 for connections after Scenic Lodge sold him for $65,000 at the 2009 Perth Magic Millions.
Scenic Lodge general manager Jeremy Smith has priced Blackfriars at a $20,000 (plus gst) service fee this year. Associate sire Universal Ruler (Scenic) will stand for $3,500 (plus gst).
– Karl Patterson