Straight Arron Wins G2 Jockey Club Cup
They started their life being trained by Chris Waller and former stablemates Straight Arron (5g Fastnet Rock x Imperial Lass, by Tavistock) and Sword Point (5g American Pharoah x Jazz Song, by Fastnet Rock) ran the quinella in the Group II BOCHK Jockey Club Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin on Sunday.
The Caspar Fownes trained gelding Straight Arron proved too good for race favourite Sword Point scoring by three-quarters of a length for Vincent Ho with both horses heading towards HK International Day.
“This horse is a quality animal and he’s just getting to where he should be now. That was a good result for us and it gives us a chance to get into the big race (LONGINES Hong Kong Cup), which is always tough against the top stayers in the world,” Fownes said.
“But he’s earned his spot there and if they can run in the first four or five on international day, it’s a job done really.
“Like I said in the interview before the race, if (Straight Arron) couldn’t win the way I had him, then I hadn’t got him to where I thought I had. I called it a while ago that I thought he was a 120 (rated) horse and he’s still got a chance to improve on those numbers.”
Vincent Ho believes Straight Arron can be competitive against the big guns at G1 level.
“At first when they were going very slow, he was a little bit keen. Matthew (Chadwick) outside of me (on Russian Emperor) tried to push me in as well and when they quickened up, I felt more confident,” said Ho.
“He is also a good horse, Straight Arron and 2000 (metres) is his best distance as well. We had some ‘prep’ races before this and he’s coming up with this form so we’re glad to see his performance today and he will improve from this and perform at the internationals if he gets in.”
Bred and sold by Torryburn Stud, Straight Arron has won six of 16 starts and was a $270,000 Inglis Easter purchase. He is the first winner from Group I placed Tavistock mare Imperial Lass (NZ), a three-quarter sister-in-blood to Group I ATC Australian Derby winner Tavago.
“He won like a very good horse tonight and I hope they can win a G1 with him,” Torryburn’s Brett Cornish said.
“It’s always been the case that he has shown above average ability and he really looks to have settled into life in Hong Kong now, so the International meeting and some of the bigger races next year look obvious targets for him.
“Imperial Lass has been a very good mare for us and we have got a spectacular Wootton Bassett filly out of her going to Easter next year which is exciting.”
Straight Arron is one of nine stakes-winners worldwide this year for champion sire Fastnet Rock.