Fastnet Rock Quinella G2 Stan Fox
The Group II ATC Stan Fox Stakes (1500m) at Randwick on Saturday produced a great finish with quality three year-olds Hilal (3c Fastnet Rock x Salma, by Encosta de Lago) and Coastwatch (3g Fastnet Rock x Bullion Mansion, by Encosta de Lago) duelling hard to the line with just half a length between them at the post.
Victory went to the Team Hawkes trained Hilal, who produced his best for Tommy Berry, despite not having won a race since making a winning debut at Randwick back in February.
Second in the Group I ATC Sires Produce Stakes and the Group I ATC Champagne Stakes at two, Hilal was overdue to win a stakes race and now that he’s broken the ice could easily keep making progress.
"He's always had that ability. I'm not sure what happened last start(unplaced Golden Rose), he's a better horse than that," Berry said.
"I knew he'd come here and run well because for the Hawkes Team to keep him in and persist with him, he's obviously done really well earlier in the week.
"That was what we wanted to see from him today."
A homebred for Emirates Park, Hilal has the overall record of two wins and four placings from nine starts with prizemoney topping $518,000.
He is a half-brother to South African stakes-winner Trojan Warrior and is the third winner from three to race from blue-blooded Encosta de Lago mare Salma, an unraced daughter of Group III winner Salameh, a half-sister to Emirates Park’s Group I winner and sire Al Maher.
This is the Show Dancing branch of the Dancing Show family, most famous for the Shantha’s Choice branch that has given us Group I winners such as Redoute’s Choice, Manhattan Rain and Shoals, who is by Hilal’s sire Fastnet Rock.
Hilal is the 180 th stakes-winner for champion sire Fastnet Rock, who posted a Group double on Saturday with Sneaky Five winning the Group III MRC Thoroughbred Club Stakes at Caulfield.