Champion sire Fastnet Rock featured on Saturday with two impressive juvenile winners in New Zealand, while at Rosehill his progressive colt River Wild (3c Fastnet Rock x Romantic River, by Irish River) earned a shot at Guineas races with his tenacious performance.
A three-quarter brother to Coolmore’s former brilliant Group I winning mare Aqua D’amore and full brother to Group II winner Petrology, River Wild sports the Coolmore navy blue.
An impressive last start winner at Randwick, he lugged 61 kg to victory this time over 1400 metres earning high praise from his jockey Brenton Avdulla and trainer Gai Waterhouse.
“He was never going to win by far, but I always thought I was going to get there,” Avdulla said.
“I couldn’t really lead early. I didn’t have the speed to. Even though I was three deep I always had cover because they raced off the fence.
“I had a good cart into the race. He dropped the bridle for me on the point of the corner but I knew once I got stuck into him and once Tommy (Berry) came around me he really got his mind on the job.”
River Wild has now won three of his five starts earning $167,250 in prizemoney.
“The further he goes the better he goes,” Waterhouse said.
“He’ll head to the Guineas – the boys can decide if they want to go north or south.”
Waterhouse was referring to the Coolmore owners and whether they want to head to Flemington for the Group I VRC Australian Guineas (1600m) or stay in Sydney for the Group I ATC Randwick Guineas (1600m) as the two races are scheduled for the same date – Saturday, March 5.
Like his father Fastnet Rock, River Wild was passed in at the Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale and retained to race by Coolmore. He is the eighth winner for good producer Romantic River, who is 22 and has not had a foal since he was born.
Fastnet Rock also had two juvenile winners in New Zealand with Mongolian Falcon (2c Fastnet Rock x Amazing Beauty, by Galileo) scoring easily at Matamata for the Donna Logan stable, while Heroic Valour (2c Fastnet Rock x Myrrh, by Nassipour) carried the Te Akau colours to victory at Trentham on debut.
Te Akau principal David Ellis celebrated his win having just last week successfully purchased his brother at the NZB Premier Yearling Sale for $510,000.
Both Fastnet Rock colts are three-quarter brothers to Group I ATC Doncaster Handicap winner Triple Honour and were offered by Curraghmore, with Heroic Valour a $400,000 buy 12 months’ ago.
“He’s showed us a lot at home and he’s a very progressive type,” said Jamie Richards, who prepares the youngster at Matamata with Stephen Autridge.
“We’ve taken our time with him and put him aside after he won his first trial at Te Aroha. There’s improvement to come from him – he’s a lovely colt.”