More Than Ready passed another career milestone on the way to a sixth stakes winner in as many weeks on Saturday.
The Vinery champion sired his 500th individual winner in Australia & NZ when Amaliehaven claimed a Newcastle maiden for owner-breeder Gerry Harvey.
Amaliehaven (3f More Than Ready – Amalienborg by Danehill) started favourite in the New England Trading Maiden (1850m) at Newcastle and had two lengths to spare at her first test past a mile. She represents the successful More Than Ready –Danehill cross and her dam Amalienborg is a sister to G1 Blue Diamond Stakes winner Danelagh.
Hours later, Banaadeer became More Than Ready’s 126th stakes winner in the LR Storm Bird Stakes at Turffontein. He cantered home by 8 lengths on debut last weekend and buttered up by 3 lengths on Saturday.
His other first-time black-type winners since January 24 have been Knoydart (LR Canterbury Classic), Ready to Act (Gulfstream LR Sweetest Chant St), Nayeli (Caulfield G3 Chairman’s St), Ready Signal (Gulfstream LR Ten Palms St) and Room Service (Gulfstream G3 Herecomesthebride St).
Banaadeer (2c More Than Ready – Provence by Redoute’s Choice) was purchased by Sheikh Hamdan’s Shadwell Estates from Widden Stud at the 2013 Inglis Easter yearling sale. At $700,000, he was the most expensive yearling by his sire last year.
International buyers like Shadwell pay good money for his yearlings and they’ve been repaid in kind. “We are delighted for Sheikh Hamdan and what a wonderful privilege it is to train thoroughbreds like these,” de Kock said. “Banadeer was in a group of 11 yearlings bought by Shadwell and Form Bloodstock on our shopping spree in Australia last year and the others look similarly promising.
“Sheikh Hamdan has had five individual debut juvenile winners this year, they’ve won six races so far and we’re looking forward to their development during the remainder of the South African season.”
Another expensive More Than Ready last year was the USA bred colt from Mary Ellise (In Excess) that made 320,000 guineas (AUD 516,130) at the Tattersalls Breeze-Up Sale in England. After changing hands, vendor John Egan labelled him a “Group 1 winner of the future”.
Purchased by Sheikh Mohammed and subsequently named Strategical, he won at Yarmouth, Wolverhampton and Sandown shouldering as much as 63kg.
More Than Ready’s 2013 Saratoga Select yearlings averaged over $283,300 and that crop is arguably his best in the USA. They were conceived immediately following his first two Breeders’ Cup winners – Pluck and More Than Real – at Churchill Downs in 2010.
His latest USA bred maiden winner arrived on Saturday when three year-old colt Picozza scored by more than 5 lengths at Gulfstream Park on Saturday. The Todd Pletcher trainee cost $225,000 at the 2012 Keeneland September yearling sale.
Pletcher kicked off Verrazano’s career in a Gulfstream maiden this time last year and the More Than Ready colt went to win the G1 Wood Memorial and G1 Haskell Invitational. He has transferred to Ireland to race out Coolmore Stud’s Ballydoyle stables this year.
More Than Ready will have another superb commercial draft at the 2014 Inglis Easter Sale starting on April 8. There are 41 yearlings catalogued including 14 from Vinery.
– Karl Patterson