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Another First-Starter Winner for Spendthrift Australia

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The following article originally appeared in the Aug. 16, 2016 TDN

By Alan Carasso

Spendthrift Farm’s Australian operation chalked up yet another debut winner Wednesday, when the Hawkes Racing-trained Spirit and Fire (Aus) (More Than Ready) validated $1.80 (4-5) favoritism to land the Tab.com.au H. (1100m) at Canterbury Park in Sydney.

Drawn gate one, the brown colt–winner of barrier trials at Rosehill July 19 and at Warwick Farm Aug. 12–jumped alertly and argued the early pace while locked away on the inside before settling a handy third into the first corner. Allowed to stride to the front with fully 600 metres left to travel, Spirit and Fire was joined and headed to his outside by chief market rival Ebenos (Aus) (I Am Invincible {Aus}) at the head of the lane. A bit tardy in switching back onto his correct lead, the Spendthrift runner fought on gamely, disposed of Ebenos inside the final 75 metres and held off a late lunge from the Chris Waller-trained filly and $26 chance Zumbelina (Aus) (Stratum {Aus}). The winning margin was a half-length (video). Spendthrift was represented by debut winners Swear (Aus) (Redoute’s Choice {Aus}) and Redouble (Aus) (Redoute’s Choice {Aus}) last April.

Bred in New South Wales by R. Pegum and R. Willis, the son of G2 Silver Slipper S. victrix Amelia’s Dream (Aus) (Redoute’s Choice {Aus}) fetched a final bid of A$700,000 from the Spendthrift braintrust at the 2015 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale (catalogue page), the second highest price for a More Than Ready youngster at that event and third-best price worldwide (Boynton, winner of this year’s G2 Superlative S., set a record for a More Than Ready offspring when selling for $750,000 at the 2015 Keeneland September sale). A half-brother to the stakes-placed Better Land (Aus) (Shamardal), Spirit of Fire hails from the extended female family of G1SW Grand Zulu (Aus) (Grand Lodge) and is kin to a newly turned 2-year-old colt of 2016 by Sepoy (Aus), himself an A$225,000 graduate of last year’s Easter sale. Amelia’s Dream foaled a full-brother to Spirit and Fire last Nov. 7 and was bred back to More Than Ready.

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