Derby and Oaks Prospects for High Chaparral

The loss of Epsom Derby winner High Chaparral was again highlighted at Doomben on Saturday when the first two stakes races were won by his promising three year-olds Ballet Suite (3f High Chaparral x Suitely, by Woodman) and Sadler’s Lake (3g High Chaparral x Mingshan, by Encosta de Lago), both prepared by Chris Waller

Last seen when finishing worse than midfield in the Group I ATC Australian Oaks, Ballet Suite appreciated firmer footing albeit still soft ground, to turn that form around and win the 2000 metre staying test by a neck.

With Kerrin McEvoy in the saddle, Ballet Suite finished off her race strongly to outpoint Bohemian Lily ad claim her first Black Type win, her overall record now four wins from eight starts with prizemoney just shy of $175,000.

“I was a couple of pairs back off Blake (Shinn) on Bohemian Lily in the run and the tempo was only steady passing the 800 (metres) so I just strode into it,” McEvoy said.

“I got within close proximity to him and I was pretty happy turning for home thinking I’d be able to out-dash him over the last two furlongs.”

A $310,000 NZB Premier purchase for UK based agent Anthony Penfold from the Curraghmore Stud draft, Ballet Suite will now progress to the Group I BRC Queensland Oaks on May 30.

Bred by Raffles Dancers, Ballet Suite runs in the Coolmore navy for a large syndicate and is a half-sister to stakes-winner Casquets and Group III placed Merensky Reef from Suitely, a half-sister by Woodman (USA) to Group II winner Flak Jacket.

In the very next race, Sadler’s Lake stamped himself as a Queensland Derby hope with a bold front running win in the Group III BRC Rough Habit Plate over 2000 metres.

The lightly raced gelding powered clear for Blake Shinn to win by a length and three-quarters, his overall record now three wins from six starts with prizemoney nearing $180,000.

“This horse is progressing to the Derby nicely,” Shinn said.

“I wasn’t sure what we were going to do at the start but when the gates opened, he began positively.

“He just took the race by the scruff of the neck and he got a soft run in front and the horse did the rest.”

Bred and retained to race by Ingham Racing, Sadlers Lake is the first foal of unraced Encosta de Lago mare Mingshan, who was bought by Ingham Bloodstock for $750,000 at the 2008 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale.

Mingshan is a sister to the dam of Group I placed Kumaon and is from stakes-placed Shalang, a half-sister to Group I winner Shame and Group III winner Demerit.

Mingshan produced a filly by Golden Slipper winner Pierro last spring.

Ballet Suite and Sadler’s Lake are the 68th and 69th stakes-winners for High Chaparral, who died prematurely last year.

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