The maroon, white & yellow silks of prominent Sydney owners Francis & Christine Cook featured in several finishes on Saturday. That included strong wins by Deep Impact’s son Fierce Impact & Not A Single Doubt’s daughter Touch of Mink at Randwick, and Another Dollar’s close second in the Queensland Oaks G1.
Things didn’t go quite as smoothly later in the day at Doomben where a long delay to remedy the deteriorating track meant that the $150,000 Fred Best Classic 1350m G3 was re-scheduled to run only minutes before sunset.
Then Sambro, one of the two Cook runners in the race, was a late scratching. Fortunately, their other runner, Snitzel colt Perast, ended the day on the right note when he led all the way to post his third stakes victory of the season.
The Cooks and their trainer Paul Perry now have to decide whether to press on the Queensland Guineas G2 over 1600m on 9 June, or to make the most of Perast’s ballot-free status in the 1350-metre Stradbroke Handicap G1 on the same day.
The Stradbroke’s Group 1 status, history of three-year-old winners and additional $1.15 million prizemoney will, no doubt, be considered along with Perast’s aptitude and potential as a stallion.
Now the winner of four races from 1100 to 1400m and almost $400,000, Perast was bred by Jonathan Munz’s GSA Bloodstock and bought by Paul Perry for $100,000 from the Maluka Thoroughbreds draft at the 2016 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale.
He is the best of four winners out of Zabeel’s South Australian St Leger-winning daughter Thousand Veils, and the third stakeswinner from 30 runners bred on the Snitzel/Zabeel cross, after Time For War and Lubiton. Sadly, Thousand Veils died in January, leaving behind her sixth and final foal, a colt by Smart Missile.
Perast is one of Snitzel’s 26 individual Australian stakeswinners this season – one short of a new outright record – and his Fred Best Classic success takes Snitzel’s tally for 2017/18 to 43 Group and Listed wins.