Not A Single Doubt gets a Moonee Valley double

He’s well-established as a consistent source of smart juveniles and short-course sprinters, but Not A Single Doubt is versatile too, and more than a few of his progeny train on and get over 1600 metres or more.

Two of them were successful at Moonee Valley on Saturday, the mare Every Faith and the gelding Word Of Mouth, both foaled in 2010 and both sold at the 2012 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale.

Every Faith produced a strong finish to land the $80,000 Benchmark 90 opening event on the card, her fourth win in a $247,000 career that includes a Listed stakes win.

Second-up from a spell, Every Faith was was patiently ridden by Dwayne Dunn and improved steadily from the rear to make the lead 100 metres out and hold on to win by a neck from First Bloom and Coronation Shallan.

Bred by Dr Gene Tsoi, Every Faith is the first foal of the winning Zabeel mare Zephyria, also the dam of Group 2 winner Alpine Eagle (by High Chaparral), a 2YO colt by Starcraft and a yearling filly by Snitzel.

Another Zabeel mare who visited Not A Single Doubt in 2009 is Gypsy Tucker. whose resulting filly turned out to be Gypsy Diamond, a dual Group winner & Group 1-placed at 1600 metres, and winner of this season’s 2000-metre ATC Japan Racing Association Plate G3.

Every Faith was bought for $130,000 by Barbara, Barry & Rebecca Saunders from Three Bridges Thoroughbreds at the 2012 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale and is trained for them by Robert Smerdon.

After winning her maiden race at Seymour as a Spring 3YO, she was fifth in Kirramosa’s VRC Oaks and returned in the Autumn to win the SAJC Laelia S. LR and finish 7th in the Queensland Oaks G1.  Every Faith’s liking for 1600 metres has become more obvious this season with two wins and a second at that distance, all in Melbourne.

Word Of Mouth’s career has followed a similar pattern, except that his four wins have all been achieved around 2000 metres and he has not yet tackled black type company.

That may change after his 4.8 length romp over 2040 metres at Monee Valley on Saturday for trainers Leon & Troy Corstens and a large group of owners managed by Brad Spicer.

Spicer Thoroughbreds bought Word Of Mouth as a yearling for $150,000 from the draft of Swettenham Stud which offered him on behalf of breeder Peter Arvanitis of Hillside Thoroughbreds. From the unraced Hennessy mare Exo, Word Of Mouth is a half-brother to stakeswinner Diamond To Pegasus, from the family of Group 3 winner Permaiscuous (by Danzero).

Word Of Mouth came to notice this time last year when he progressed quickly from maiden company at Tatura to a Flemington win and three placings at Caulfield. His earnings now exceed $300,000 with bonuses, among them a juicy $20,000 VOBIS Gold Owners’ bonus attached to Saturday’s race.

Not A Single Doubt’s winners at 1600 metres and beyond also include Singapore Group 1 winner Always Certain, Group 3 winner My Ex Mate, whose nine wins all fell in that distance range, and the good Queensland mare Bang On (10 wins up to 2100 metres.

However, the son of Redoute’s Choice hasn’t lost any of his ability to sire early-running 2YOs. Not A Single Doubt has been among Australia’s top 10 sires of juveniles every year since 2011 and he’s there again this season with $1.1 million prizemoney and 14 winners in fifth spot on the current table.

Smart Starcraft fillies take off

Interest in Starcraft’s 21 yearlings at the upcoming Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale has been sharpened by a trio of smart fillies from his 2010 crop.

On Thursday at Bendigo, Leia (ex Gibraltar Campion by Rock of Gibraltar) finished strongly over 1000 metres for her second win in four starts from the Leon Corstens stable.

Purchased by Spicer Thoroughbreds for $220,000 from the Arrowfield draft at the 2012 Inglis Easter Sale, Leia’s Spring campaign was derailed by a virus, but she looks ready to progress further this Autumn. Brad Spicer reports that a start at Moonee Valley next Friday evening is the next possibility for her.

Leia’s full sister, described by Arrowfield’s Sam Fairgray as “a lovely type, a fluent mover with great balance and a nice pedigree to match”, is Lot 280 at Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale which begins on 4 March. View the Arrowfield draft  here.

In New Zealand on Wednesday, Astardia (ex Ransom Claim by Red Ransom) put up a performance reminiscent of the maiden win of her famous stablemate It’s A Dundeel, when she swept from the back of the field to win handily over 1600 metres at Pukekohe.  Watch the race here.

Astardia, a grand-daughter of 2YO stakeswinner and Golden Slipper placegetter Loving Cup, was purchased by trainer Murray Baker for $65,000 from the Wellfield Lodge draft at the 2012 New Zealand Premier Sale. She is raced by long-time Baker stable client John Rattray, who also raced Group 2 winner Fatal and Group 1 winner Dowry (now an Arrowfield broodmare), in partnership with Alastair Lawrence and Dave Mitchell.

John Rattray says of Astardia, “She’s a very nicely put together filly with a beautiful temperament and I liked the way she flattened out over the last 100 metres.” Likely races for her now include the Lowland Stakes G3 at Hastings on 1 March or the Sunline Vase G3 at Ellerslie on 5 March.

The Baker stable has good experience with the Starcraft tribe after preparing his daughter We Can Say It Now to win twice at Group 1 level.

Last Thursday at Seymour another 3YO Starcraft filly, Choose (ex Choices Are by Redoute’s Choice) turned in a determined effort to win comfortably on debut. Choose was an $80,000 buy for trainers Lee & Shannon Hope from the 2012 New Zealand Ready to Run Sale and is from a three-quarter sister to Group 3 winner and Blue Diamond G1 runner-up Shaaheq.

The Melbourne Premier catalogue includes two colts bred on the Starcraft-Redoute’s Choice cross, Arrowfield’s Lot 46, from Any Other Day,  here; and Supreme Thoroughbreds’ Lot 254, from Fair Choice,  here.