Strawberry Boy and La Amistad put up equally dominant performances over very different distances on Saturday to give their champion sire Redoute’s Choice his fifth same-day stakes double this season.
Strawberry Boy claimed his first Group win in the $125,000 BRC Lord Mayor’s Cup 1600m G3 at Doomben with a strong front-running performance piloted by Zac Purton.
The 6YO gelding took an early lead, settled into a lovely rhythm and repelled the challenge of Estonian Princess before drawing away in the straight for a stylish 2.5 length victory. Lucky Lago and I’m Imposing filled the placings.
Trained by Chris Waller for owner and breeder John Singleton, Strawberry Boy earned black capital status in the Ladies Day Cup LR at Hawkesbury last November. He has now won eight of his 23 starts for prizemoney of more than $550,000.
Strawberry Boy is from the fine broodmare Strawberry Girl (by Strawberry Road) whose eight earlier winners include Group 2 winner Danroad and stakeswinners Newtown Jet & Tippitaka. Sadly, their dam died last year, soon after foaling a colt by Not A Single Doubt.
A couple of hours later at Flemington La Amistad brought back memories of her famous big sister, three-time Melbourne Cup winner Makybe Diva, with a decisive victory in Flemington’s “other 3200-metre race”, the Andrew Ramsden S. LR.
Damien Oliver was happy to settle La Amistad at the back of the field and found that the further they went, the stronger she felt. By the home turn, she was ready to chase down the leader Lucciola and then hold off the fast-finishing Sonntag and Zabeelionaire to score by two lengths in 3:22.79.
The 5YO mare’s evident progress since her McKell Cup LR win at Randwick a year ago makes a 2015 Melbourne Cup campaign a realistic possibility for trainers Hawkes Racing and her owners Tony & Deslee Santic, Greg Ingham and Michael Sullivan.
La Amistad is from another first-class broodmare Tugela (by Riverman), who also died last Spring after delivered her 11th foal, a filly by All Too Hard. Makybe Diva, La Amistad’s Group 2-winning brother Musket and Group 3 winner Valkyrie Diva established Tugela’s worth some time ago.
It’s been a bountiful season for Redoute’s Choice, with 15 winners of 23 Group & Listed races in Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, including five winners of 7 Group 1 races: Lankan Rupee, Majmu, Bonaria, Hampton Court & Wylie Hall.
His four other stakes doubles since 1 August were achieved by Panzer Division (Sydney) & Rock Magic (Perth) on 6 September; Bonaria (Melbourne) & Majmu (South Africa) on 1 November; Scissor Kick (Sydney) & Vavasour (New Zealand) on 7 February; and Wylie Hall (South Africa) & Abidewithme (New Zealand) on 25 April.