Ninth Legion (4g Fastnet Rock x Xaar’s Jewel, by Xaar)has always shown immense potential and finally joined all the dots to win the Group II ATC Villiers Stakes at Randwick on Saturday for Segenhoe Thoroughbreds.
Stakes-placed as a three year-old and fourth in the Group I ATC Golden Rose behind Epaulette, Ninth Legion cracked it for his first stakes victory when forging clear to win the 1550 metre feature by three-quarters of a length with Peter Robl in the saddle.
“He makes his own luck and since he was gelded he’s much more focused,” said co-trainer Michael Hawkes.
“We set him for this race from day one this time in. A lot of owners don’t want to geld these Fastnet Rock colts, but full credit to Segenhoe for taking the right decision.”
Ninth Legion was a modest $110,000 purchase from the Edinglassie Stud draft at the 2011 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale and his overall record is now five wins and three seconds from 18 starts with prizemoney of $438,150.
He is the first foal of Xaar’s Jewel, a winning half-sister to stakes-winner Kidlat and to the dam of Group I NZ Two Thousand Guineas winner Tell a Tale.
Ninth Legion is the 53rd stakes-winner for Fastnet Rock, who also sired progressive four year-old Electric Fusion (4g Fastnet Rock x Silken Song, by Unbridled’s Song) to win the open event Flemington over 2000 metres by more than five lengths.
The Robert Smerdon trained gelding was a $180,000 Inglis Easter purchase from the draft of Reavill Farm and was second in the Group I BRC Queensland Derby as a three year-old, so will be one to follow over the summer months in the staying events.
Closely related to Group I winners Zabrasive and Cheeky Choice he is from Unbridled’s Song mare Silken Song.
Fastnet Rock is poised to start the New Year with a bang given he has 37 yearlings catalogued for Magic Millions in January.