Howard Be Thy Name marked himself the horse to beat in the $500,000 South Australian Derby G1 later this month with a soft win in Saturday’s $120,000 SAJC Chairman’s S. 2020m G3.
The 3YO son of Redoute’s Choice jumped well and settled comfortably midfield where jockey Brad Rawiller was content to leave him until 600 metres from home when he asked the colt to go forward. A shake-up at the 300-metre mark was all that was needed to secure a stylish 2.3 length victory, ahead of Royal Rumble and Manhattan Boss, in a time of 2:05.45 on the Good4 track.
The win completed a stakes double at Morphettville for Rawiller and trainer Darren Weir, and took Howard Be Thy Name’s record to four wins, six placings and just over $200,000 prizemoney from 10 starts, all of them this season. His progress has been dramatic, from a distant debut third at Cranbourne in October, to his maiden win five starts later at Ballarat in January, the Listed Port Adelaide Guineas two weeks ago and now his first Group success.
Bred by Watson Bloodstock, Howard Be Thy Name is the third foal of the admirable Group 2-winning mare Bellini Rose (by Faltaat). He was offered under the Arrowfield banner at the 2014 Inglis Easter Sale, but was passed in and is now raced by Eric Watson, Howard & Lisa Aldridge and the Weir stable. His unraced 2YO three-quarter sister Roseito (by Snitzel) is in training with Paul Messara.
Howard Be Thy Name is among the 12 winners of 17 Group & Listed Races this season for Redoute’s Choice, but it can be predicted with some confidence that the great son of Danehill will incease that record before 31 July. He has averaged 15 winners of 23 black type races each year of the past decade including four Group 1 Derby winners: Redoute’s Dancer (New Zealand Derby), Empires Choice & Dariana (Queensland Derby) and Wylie Hall (South African Derby).