Sky’s the limit for Celestial Legend

Celestial Legend becomes Legend Racing's second grey Group winner by an Arrowfield sire with his victory in the Hobartville S. G2. (PHOTO: Lisa Grimm)

Exciting 3YO colt Celestial Legend took an important step towards major Autumn prizes with a sweeping victory, at only his sixth start, in Saturday’s $400,000 Hobartville S. 1400m G2 at Rosehill. 

In the process he became the 26th stakeswinner for his sire Dundeel, the 29th stakeswinner for Snitzel as a damsire and the 11th Arrowfield graduate stakeswinner this season.

A new star for Bon Ho’s Legend Racing, he delivered a second Hobartville Stakes for veteran Sydney trainer Les Bridge, 40 years after he prepared Champion 3YO Sir Dapper to win the race.  

Not forgetting a timely update for the catalogue page of Celestial Legend’s half-brother, Lot 260 at Inglis Easter 2024

Celestial Legend has big targets ahead of him with nominations for the Randwick & Rosehill Guineas, the Doncaster Mile and Australian Derby, reflecting owner Bon Ho’s confidence that “He’s a 1600 to 2000 metre horse, he’s a Dundeel.”

Success in one of those races would surely place him alongside Legend Racing’s now retired star Classique Legend – by Not A Single Doubt and also grey in colour – whose 15-start career garnered $9.3 million and six wins including the 2019 Arrowfield 3YO Sprint G2 & The Everest in 2020.

Celestial Legend’s jockey Kerrin McEvoy said, “He’s always promised a lot and Les and his team have been saying that he’s a really good horse in the making. We’ve probably been saying for a little while that we thought 1400m is going to be a sweet spot for him and hopefully a mile, so it was nice to see him do that today.

“You’d think a mile at Randwick will suit. The penny is just dropping so I think he’s onwards and upwards towards those bigger targets now.”

Celestial Legend, seen here as a yearling, is one of 8 Inglis sale graduates to win stakes races on 24 February. (PHOTO: Georgie Lomax)

Celestial Legend was a $220,000 purchase by Legend Racing and Mark McStay’s Avenue Bloodstock from Arrowfield’s 2022 Inglis Classic draft. Listed winners Ganbare (also 3rd, Spring Champions S. G1) and Namesake were purchased from the same consignment. 

There’s no mystery about where Celestial Legend’s Group-winning ability comes from. He’s a son of six-time Group 1 winner & leading sire Dundeel and Snitzel’s daughter Sarraqa, a three-quarter sister to South African Champion 2YO Colt Mustaaqeem and Group 1 winner Rafeef, also a successful sire.

Second dam National Colour was a three-time Group 1-winning sprinter and South Africa’s 2006 Horse of the Year. Sarraqa has a 2YO daughter National Code (by Written Tycoon) in the Griffiths de Kock stable and she is now carrying a full sibling to Celestial Legend. 

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