First Aussie Justify 2YOs Impress
Undefeated Triple Crown winner Justify might not be in Australia this spring, but there is tremendous interest in his first crop of two year-olds here given the incentive of a Ferrari to the owners of the first of them to win one of a selection of Group I races and he had a trial winner at Randwick on Monday morning.
The Michael Freedman trained filly Just Gisella (2f Justify x Halle Rocks, by Fastnet Rock) did a great job to give Justify a really good heat winner as she had to overcome some adversity to win. She was held up on the rail and had to be angled out of there by Tommy Berry before he could ask her to lengthen.
When she got that clear ground, Just Gisella found her rhythm and hit the line well in a most encouraging performance that may see her start in the Group III ATC Gimcrack Stakes (100m) on October 1.
“For a two-year-old filly having her first ever trial she showed a lot of tenacity,” said Michael Freedman.
“She’s such a laid back filly and very docile around the yard and only does what she has to so this was probably the first time we’ve actually seen her even semi light up.
“It was very encouraging and we’ll see how she comes out of it, but I think if she has a good week there’s a chance we could line up in the fillies race here in two weeks.”
A $200,000 Magic Millions purchase for James Bester Bloodstock from the Coolmore draft, Just Gisella was bred by Dr Denis O’Brien and his wife Claire and was foaled and raised at Coolmore.
She is a half-sister to good metro winner Agassi from stakes-placed Fastnet Rock mare Halle Rocks, a half-sister to Group III winner Diamond Earth.
Justify nearly made it two heat winners with his $900,000 Inglis Easter purchase Learning to Fly (2f Justify x Ennis Hill by Fastnet Rock) surging home for a good second in her heat behind speedy I Am Invincible filly Sicilian.
Bought by Kia Ora Stud, the Annabel Neasham trained filly is the second foal of Group III winning juvenile Ennis Hill, a full sister to stakes-winners Lake Geneva, who was placed in the Golden Slipper and Blue Diamond, and Acrobat, who stands his first season at Coolmore this spring.
Justify has foals arriving in Australia this spring and has made an exceptional start in the Northern Hemisphere where he has sired 14 winners headed by the stakes-winners Statuette, Aspen Grove, Just Cindy and Justa Warrior.