Wattle Brae in Command

Wattle Brae resident Court Command made a winning return to racing with a brilliant all the way victory in the G3 BTC Sprint at Doomben last Saturday and will now be out to emulate the feats of Daybreak Lover when he tackles the G1 Stradbroke Handicap on June 6 at Eagle Farm via the G1 Doomben 10,000 this week.

The result was a fitting reward for the connections of Court Command (5h Commands-Court House Lane by Zoffany), who decided to return the entire to racing following his outstanding first season at stud.

Daybreak Lover won the 1984 Stradbroke Handicap before retiring to stud in 1985. He went back into training before capturing his second Stradbroke in 1986 and was promptly retired to stud again. His racetrack excursion did little to inhibit his longevity at stud. After 21 seasons, Daybreak Lover died in 2006.

Wattle Brae Manager Ian Brady said Court Command would take his place in the Doomben 10,000 pending track conditions. “Weather permitting he should run,” Brady said. “He has come through the race well, but it is just a matter of how wet the track is. Also we probably wouldn’t want to see him run if he drew a wide barrier.”

Brady added that the decision to return Court Command to work was a fairly easy one. “When he finished serving mares last season, he really tightened up in condition and was jumping out of his skin,” Brady said.  “The vets went over him and gave him the all clear and that’s when we decided to return him to work.  His book for this season is starting to fill pretty rapidly and we have taken a heap of enquires since Saturday. The response has been tremendous.”

Formerly trained by Darren Smith at Broadmeadow, Court Command was a $120,000 purchase from the 2005 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale and is the second foal for the homebred Zoffany mare Court House Lane.

Court Command was one of the most exciting three-year old prospects in the country in 2006, capturing the $1 million G2 Stan Fox Stakes, G3 Up and Coming Stakes and G3 Golden Rose Stakes. He then finished third to Wonderful World in the G1 Caulfield Guineas after being bullied up front for the entire 1600m journey.

He failed to come up as a four-year old after injury and illness setbacks and was retired to stand at Wattle Brae, where he served 109 mares with a fertility rate of 94%.

Seventeen of those mares including dual G1 winner Lady Jakeo are catalogued for the upcoming Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale beginning on June 4.

“We are very happy with his progress,” Brady said.  “He has three individual G1 winners in foal and they are set to go through the sale ring in June. It’s a pretty good recommendation for him.”

A full sister to Court Command fetched $130,000 at last year’s Inglis Easter Sale, while a half sister by Flying Spur was passed in short of her $80,000 reserve at this year’s sale.

Court House Lane also has a weanling filly by Darley shuttler Exceed and Excel and was served by Coolmore sire Fastnet Rock last year.

Wattle Brae added more stakes success when Funtantes blitzed her rivals to win the G2 Champagne Classic. Brady said Funtantes (2f Easy Rocking-Cantantes by Just Awesome) would head to the G1 TJ Smith Stakes (1600m) via the G2 Sires Produce Stakes on May 30. “She is a gutsy little filly and will give them something to chase.” Brady said.