Derby Day at Flemington is unquestionably one of the world’s most competitive racedays and every placing is keenly contested. Yesterday two Arrowfield stallions, champion sire Flying Spur and young gun Charge Forward added new Group 1 performers to their records.
Pictured: Arrowfield sale graduate Sabrage, third in yesterday’s Victoria Derby G1. (PHOTO: Sportpix)
Arrowfield sale graduate Sabrage (ex Galroof by Maroof) became Charge Forward’s fifth Group 1 performer when he finished third, only 1.5 lengths from the winner Sangster, in the day’s marquee event, the $1.5 million VRC Victoria Derby 2500m G1.
It was a gallant effort by the Michael Moroney-trained colt who had defeated Sangster in the MRC Norman Robinson S. G3 two weeks earlier, after running third in the MVRC Stutt S. G2 on 30 September.
Charge Forward is also the sire of Group 1 winners Response & Headway, Group 1-placed dual Group winner Shrapnel & stakeswinner Fort Lincoln, second in last season’s ARC Diamond S. G1.
Sabrage contributed to a wonderful day for his part-owners Rupert & Cheryl Legh who also co-own Glass Harmonium, winner of the Mackinnon S. G1, and Niwot who took out the Lexus-sponsored Hotham H. G3.
Punters gave Flying Spur’s daughter Satin Shoes (ex Star Satire by Volksraad) little chance of footing it with the boys in the $500,000 Coolmore Stud-sponsored Ascot Vale S. 1200m G1, but she paid scant attention to their opinion.
Satin Shoes began the race down the famous “Straight Six” quickly, settled second behind Unique Quality, and took over the lead momentarily about 400 metres from home. She was caught first by Sepoy, and then by the fast-finishing Foxwedge – at which point serious fortitude was required to pay a dividend and secure that valuable Group 1 placing. And fortitude was exactly what the filly displayed to hold third position by one-hundredth of a second from Zamorar.
The result was memorable for owners Dr Edmund and Belinda Bateman who race both Foxwedge and Satin Shoes, from the
stables of John O’Shea and Clarry Conners.
A Group 2 winner at two, Satin Shoes opened her 3YO campaign with a Listed stakes win at Caulfield in August and has now won five of her 11 starts for total prizemoney of just over $500,000. She joins 3YO fillies Gliding and Bliss Street (4th & 5th in yesterday’s Wakeful S. G2) to make a more than handy trio of stakeswinners for Flying Spur in Australia so far this season.