Justify Conformation

Air Assault Wins Morphettville Guineas

A Group winner at two and a stakes-winner last spring, Air Assault (3g Justify x Elegant Eagle, by Zabeel) had a class edge over his rivals in the Listed SAJC Morphettville Guineas (1600m) on Monday and led all the way for a determined victory.

Second up from a spell after an unplaced run in the Group I VRC Victoria Derby last spring, the Andrew Gluyas trained son of Justify (USA) was ridden a positive race by Jason Holder and did some early work to take the lead.

He controlled proceedings from that point and was strong to the line to win by a couple of lengths taking his overall record to three wins and two placings from 12 starts with prizemoney in excess of $280,000.

“It was a good result. He controlled the race, although it was hard work to get to where he did, although Jason summed that up well and he knew the horse that we had,” said Andrew Gluyas.

“We gelded him as he had to be and he’s still not entirely settled as a horse so has a lot more growth to go mentally and if we can sort that out and get him into a nice race that he can win.

“We’ve got to work on his composure, but his attitude and pluck are fantastic.”

Passed in as a yearling and retained to race, Air Assault was bred by Harry Perks and partners and was raised at Mill Park in South Australia with further stakes targets in his home state on the radar in coming weeks.

He is a half-brother to Group I ATC Champagne Stakes winner Go Indy Go, Group III winner Essay Raider and Group III placed Battle Brewing being the third stakes-winner among seven winners from outstanding producer Elegant Eagle, who retired from stud duty last year.

A winning daughter of champion sire Zabeel, Elegant Eagle is a full sister to the dam of Caulfield Cup winner Southern Speed from the family of Golden Slipper winner Ha Ha, so it’s a genuinely versatile family at the elite level and has now had some success on the international stage.

Southern Speed is at stud in Japan and recently produced a new stakes-winner with promising three year-old Cosmo Kuranda winning the Group II Nakayama Hochi Hai Yayoi Sho Deep Impact Kinen.

Justify currently has the favourite for the Golden Slipper in Storm Boy and was kept busy in Australia last spring covering 188 mares.