Champion sire Fastnet Rock started Saturday with a treble of smart winners in Liberation (2c Fastnet Rock x Liberty Rose, by Royal Academy), Cluster (3c Fastnet Rock x Tarcoola Diamond, by LAst Tycoon) and Tan Tat Diamond (2c Fastnet Rock x Tan Tat de Lago, by Encosta de Lago), who kept his unbeaten record intact when defeating a strong field of juveniles to win at Flemington.
Prepared by Peter Moody, Tan Tat Diamond landed a plunge when winning on debut at Geelong at the start of the month and looked the good in this tougher assignment when surging home to win the 1200 metre dash by a head.
“He’s the sort of horse that doesn’t do a lot at home and the backing for him at Geelong (on debut) and again today surprised the hell out of me I have to say,” Moody said.
“He’s a progressive colt, I trained his mother (Tan Tat de Lago) to win at Group III level up the straight here.”
Moody feels Tan Tat Diamond has plenty of room for improvement and will give him his chance against better grade during the spring.
“He continues to improve,” he said. “He had a look around when he got to the front and didn’t know how to put them away but he’s got good improvement.
“We might just up stumps now and look at races like the Carbine Club or Sandown Guineas in the spring.”
Retained to race by his breeders, Tan Tat Diamond is the first living foal of Group III winning Encosta de Lago mare Tan Tat De Lago whose dam is a sister to dual Group I winner Umrum.
Fastnet Rock then made it a juvenile double when the Gai Waterhouse trained Liberation shook off maiden status at his third start to win by a couple of lengths at Rosehill.
Resuming from a spell, Liberation led throughout to score with some authority.
“He’s shown that sort of ability at home so it’s good to see him come and do it on raceday,” said winning rider Tim Clark said.
“He’s had a throat operation this horse which has obviously been very successful.”
A $500,000 Magic Millions purchase from the Coolmore draft for Gai Waterhouse/James Harron Bloodstock, Liberation was bred by Fairway Thoroughbreds and is a three-quarter brother to stakes-winner Grand Jardin and stakes-placed Pontiana and Liberty’s Choice.
In the very next race, Fastnet Rock again had the winner, this time talented three year-old Cluster saluting as a short priced favourite.
Now with Peter and Paul Snowden, Cluster had been Group placed for his previous trainer Anthony Cummings and has now won his past two starts in easier company with the Group I ATC Epsom Handicap names as his spring goal for this campaign.
“I was impressed with what I saw and that gives me good reason to continue with the Epsom Handicap plans. That’s his main target this spring,” Snowden said.
“But I’m mindful of not giving him too many runs before then. However, he’s got to win and get his rating up to get into those types of races.”
Snowden said Cluster would have his next start in the Listed ATC Show County Quality (1200m) at Randwick on August 23.
A homebred for Peter and Wendy Moran, Cluster is one of four winners from stakes-winning Last Tycoon mare Tarcoola Diamond, a grand-daughter of Group I ATC Champagne stakes winner I Like Diamonds.