Na Zdorovie! Russian winner a first for Derby hero Australia
The well-bred Australian Prince blazes a trail for first-season sire
All eyes were on Beyond Reason, the first runner in Britain or Ireland from the highly anticipated debut juvenile crop of Australia, when she lined up at Newmarket on Saturday.
The filly was being unleashed by Godolphin after being bought by Rabbah Bloodstock for 370,000gns as a yearling last year, as part of Sheikh Mohammed ending his embargo on buying stock of Coolmore sires at source.
But she finished second to easy all-the-way winner New Winds, a daughter of New Approach and Prix de Diane heroine West Wind trained by Mark Johnston for Sheikh Mohammed's son Hamdan.
As it turned out, unbeknown to many in the breeding industry and confirmed by frantic study of websites in Cyrillic script, Australia had already supplied his first winner on Saturday as son Australian Prince had scored by a head in a 6f contest for juvenile colts at Krasnodar Hippodrome in Russia.
Australian Prince, trained by Ivan Lykov for owner-breeder Progress Stud Farm, won by a head from Fast Bird (by Take Charge Indy) with Rising Dream (New Year's Day) two lengths back in third.
Although the racing might be unfamiliar to those in western Europe, the pedigree will not be. The Irish-foaled Australian Prince is out of Mail Princess, a daughter of Pivotal and Moyglare Stud Stakes winner Mail The Desert who also won in Russia.
Mail Princess was bought by Badgers Bloodstock, agents for Progress Stud Farm, for 170,000gns from the Newsells Park Stud draft at Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale in 2010.
Tom Pritchard-Gordon of Badgers Bloodstock said: “Mail Princess won the Russian 1,000 Guineas and Oaks and was one of the best fillies in the country for years.
“She was then brought back to the British Isles to be covered by a number of top stallions and it is pleasing to see her class is coming through to her offspring now. It is a very good Newsells Park family and Australian Prince is clearly a very precocious colt.”
Mail Princess was already the dam of Highprin, a winner in Russia by High Chaparral, and she also has a yearling colt by Oasis Dream foaled in Russia.
Australia, the Derby-winning son of Galileo and Ouija Board who stands at Coolmore at a fee of €35,000, is sure to have more success closer to home before long.
He has a first crop of 117 two-year-olds and the pick on pedigrees might be Grenadier Guard, a three-parts brother to Order Of St George; Fly The Flag, a half-sister to Coronet; Sydney Opera House, a half-brother to Rekindling; and Desert Island, a colt out of Peeping Fawn and thus a half-brother to September.
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