First Command will be given the chance to prove himself in G1 company after scoring a stylish win at Caulfield on Sunday.
First Command (5g Commands – River Serenade by Hurricane Sky) hasn’t been tested in elite company, however he was successful at the next level in the G2 Caulfield Sprint last October. He won that feature on the back of a nose second to All Silent in the G2 Gilgai Stakes at Flemington.
Trainer Lee Freedman will set the gelding for the G1 Railway Stakes and G1 Telegraph Hcp in New Zealand in the New Year. “He’s a top class sprinter without being right at the top of the tree,” Freedman said. “I won’t give him a big spring preparation and we’re quite happy to dodge horses like Hay List.”
First Command is by Darley sire Commands and was a $170,000 buy out of the Baramul Stud draft at the 2007 Gold Coast Magic Millions yearling sale. He’s paid that back with interest after banking nearly $410,000 from 8 wins in 13 starts.
His dam River Serenade is a sister to Group 1 Oakleigh Plate winner River Dove. She has also foaled Hong Kong star One World (Danehill Dancer) who was runner-up to Sacred Kingdom in the G1 HK Sprint last December.
Baramul will offer their younger half-brother (by Encosta de Lago) at the 2011 Gold Coast Magic Millions yearling sale.
Commands retired to stud in 2000 and he has sired 422 winners at an outstanding 68% strike-rate. There have been 31 stakes winners in that tally including the G1 winners Paratroopers, Undue, Purple and Russeting.
First Command can make it five after Freedman freshens him up for New Zealand. In the meantime, he will be set for a repeat victory in the G2 Caulfield Sprint on October 16 prior to the G2 Salinger Stakes at Flemington on October 30.