Fastnet Rock Paddock

Fastnet Filly Impressive Winning Debut

Boutique Hunter Valley breeder Bruce Neill of Cressfield would be well pleased to have kept talented filly Merited (3f Fastnet Rock x Jeu de Cartes, by Stravinsky), who won easily on debut at Sandown on Wednesday.

Bred to get a lot further, the Mick Price and Mick Kent Jr trained Merited settled back off a hectic pace and powered to the line to win the open maiden over 1300 metres by three and a half lengths eased down.

With her co-trainers at Karaka for the Ready to Run Sale, stable representative Mick Nolan as full of praise for Merited.

“Nice to see a well bred filly like her win for her breeder,” Mick Nolan commented.

“She’s a lovely big strong filly and is nowhere near her top so she will take a lot of improvement from the run.”

Retained to race after passing in shy of her $500,000 reserve when offered by Cressfield at the Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale, Merited is the third winner from three foals to race from Stravinsky’s Group II winning daughter Jeu de Cartes (NZ).

Jeu de Cartes was a tough stayer that won nine races from 1600 to 2200m and is a half-sister to Group I Australian Derby winner Nom du Jeu from dual Group I winner Prized Gem, who won a Kelt Capital Stakes in New Zealand and a Brisbane Cup in Australia.

Given the depth of staying talent in her female family it’s hard not to think connections wouldn’t be dreaming of Oaks goals for Merited in 2020.

If she is successful, Merited won’t be the first Oaks winner bred by Fastnet Rock from a Stravinsky mare with the nick already producing VRC Oaks winner Mosheen as well as four other stakes-winners, the nick running at 12.8% stakes-winners to runners and nearly 80% winners to runners.

Jeu de Cartes has foaled this spring producing a colt by Fastnet Rock’s champion son Merchant Navy.