25th Group One Winner for Encosta de Lago
Champion sire Encosta de Lago might be retired, but is riding high on the Australian General Sires List in fourth place following another big Saturday of racing at Randwick where the feature sprint was again won by one of his offspring. Star sprinter Chautauqua (5g Encosta de Lago x Lovely Jubly, by Lion Hunter) won the Group I AJC TJ Smith Stakes two weeks ago and this time it was the turn of English (3f Encosta de Lago x Court, by Anabaa). The Kelly family of Newhaven Park have already celebrated a Group I success in Sydney this autumn with their star homebred mare Peeping in the ATC Coolmore Classic and it was another of their homebred fillies in English that delivered the goods in the ATC All Aged Stakes. The three year-old filly was set a task in taking on older horses at weight-for-age, but tuned to perfection by Gai Waterhouse was able to overhaul her more seasoned rivals to win the 1400 metre sprint by half a neck. Second to Vancouver in the Golden Slipper last year, English was sidelined for the spring, but has enjoyed a fruitful autumn campaign which has taken her overall record to four wins and two placings from eight starts with prizemoney topping $1.7 million. Winning rider Sam Clipperton was full of praise for the talented daughter of champion sire Encosta de Lago. “I had a great run. It was a tricky little race on paper and as it turns out I was just able to follow what I thought was the biggest danger in the race in Press Statement,”: he said. “Hughie (Bowman) gave me a lovely drag up into the race. I got exposed a bit early, I was a bit concerned at the end of the 1400m but she’s just tough.” Waterhouse described English as "top, top class” and the win saw her become only the third three-year-old filly to win the race. Atlantic Jewel was the last in 2012 after Valley Girl back in 1927. "She has a winter ahead of her now,” Waterhouse said. "She’s off to Brisbane for races like the (Doomben) 10,000. "Putting away the older horses today just shows how much quality she has.” A homebred for Newhaven Park, English is the best of two winners from dual Group II winning Anabaa (USA) mare Court, who was also bred by Newhaven Park as was her dam Splish! They all descend from the family of outstanding racehorse and sire Grand Lodge (USA). English is the 25th Group I winner for Coolmore’s now retired champion sire Encosta de Lago, whose place on the Coolmore roster has been taken by his royally bred son Rubick. A brilliant Group II winning sprinter, Rubick covered 213 mares last spring so has a second to none chance to achieve success.