Sireeze joined the queue of candidates for next month’s G2 Western Australian Derby with a three length victory in the Listed T J Smith Trophy (1600m) at Ascot on Saturday.
Sireeze (3g Choisir – Westerly Breeze by Dr Johnson) got all the favours in running under Troy Turner to defeat front-runner Western Blaze by three lengths. In-form trainer Sharon Miller will have him peaking for the $400,000 WA Derby on April 20.
“He can be a little bit cheeky but is an easy horse to train,” Miller said. “He did gash a knee here last time and we were concerned although he galloped beautifully on Tuesday morning.
“We decided to go ahead but my son Duncan said, ‘Mum, you can’t beat Express Service’. He had ridden the favourite in work earlier in the week.”
Express Service (Danehill Express) had won the Magic Millions 3YO Trophy and LR Challenge Stakes and was a clear public-elect. When he lashed out in the barriers and was a late scratching, Miller and rival connections were suddenly right in the mix.
Miller had a weekend to remember besides saddling up the T J Smith Trophy winner. She also trained LR 1000 Guineas winner Moreish (More Than Ready) on Saturday and LR Breeders Classic winner Takanori (Vital Equine) at Bunbury on Sunday.
Queenslea Park’s Aaron Morton sold Sireeze for $50,000 at the 2011 Perth Magic Millions. He’s by Coolmore Stud champion Choisir from 2007 G3 WA Oaks winner Westerly Breeze
Morton has been on a roll of his own this summer. Before the Sireeze black-type, Queenslea graduate Ningaloo Blitz (Natural Blitz) won her fourth race in a row at Ascot and Queenslea homebred Helder The Painter (Danehill Express) earned black-type when placed in the LR Challenge Stakes at Ascot.
Morton bred and trains Helder The Painter from his base at Pingelly. Queenslea Park sold five yearlings at the Perth Magic Millions last month, the majority of them on behalf of Mungrup Stud, for $163,000.
– Karl Patterson