Smart 3YO winners at Sandown & Ipswich

3YO gelding Berlutti continued a good run of results for BlueBlood Thoroughbreds with a sparkling, all-the-way win over 1200 metres at Sandown in Melbourne on Wednesday.

It was the second win by the Mick Price-trained son of Not A Single Doubt, who also impressed when third to stablemate & subsequent Group 3 placegetter Royal Snitzel at Caulfield last month.

Bred by Mark Christie from the Success Express mare Blahniks, Berlutti was purchased by BlueBlood Thoroughbreds for $85,000 from the Robyn Wise draft at the 2013 Magic Millions National Yearling Sale. Blahniks is a non-winning half-sister to Perth Group 2 winner Never Blue, dam of Group 2 winner Colour Correct and stakeswinner Royal Devotion.

Success Express mares have done exceptionally well with sons & grandsons of Danehill, leaving dual Group 1 winner Shamus Award to Snitzel, Group 3 winner Squamosa to Not A Single Doubt, dual Group 2 winner Tickets to Redoute’s Choice, three-time Group 1 winner Seas Siren to Fastnet Rock, dual Group 1 winner Gold Edition to Lion Hunter and Group 1 winner Excites to Danewin.

Snitzel also posted an eye-catching mid-week winner when Liam Birchley produced 3YO Headwater Country to score over 1000 metres at Ipswich. Headwater Country looked likely to finish last at the 600-metre mark and was only a place chance 100 metres from home, but powered up in the final strides to win by a half-neck from the smart Celestial Dragon & favourite Choc Mountain.

It was the gelding’s third win from 7 starts for owner Peter Marshall who bred him from Perkipsey (by Falbrav), an unraced relative of Group 1 winners Rebel Raider, Able One and A Little Kiss. Arrowfield graduate Gold Force (by Flying Spur), winner of the last season’s rich MRC Inglis 2YO Premier S. (R) LR is also out of a mare by Falbrav.

Birchley thought enough of Headwater Country last season to send him last November to Sydney where he ran third, although beaten 8.3 lengths, to subsequent Blue Diamond G1 winner Earthquake.

After Wednesday’s win Birchley said, “He had no luck in those races as a two-year-old and we gave him a spell. He seems to have come back well. But I must admit I still don’t know what to make of today’s run. You would have torn up your ticket halfway down the straight.”

Headwater Country’s next start in a 1200-metre 3YO race at Doomben on 13 September will determine if he makes another trip south this Spring.

Both Not A Single Doubt & Snitzel have picked up where they left off at the end of their outstanding 2013/14 season and have already notched up 28 winners and $870,000 prizemoney between them in the first month of the new season.

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