Debut 2YO Stakes-Winner for Fastnet Rock
Exciting filly Bright Blue Sky (2f Fastnet Rock x Blue Blue Sky, by Lonhro) lived up to the hype when she made a winning debut in the Listed Fasttrack Insurance 2YO Stakes (1100m) at Te Rapa in New Zealand on Saturday.
The Jamie Richards-trained daughter of Fastnet Rock was backed as if unbeatable leading into the race, starting a prohibitive $1.40 favourite in the hands of jockey Opie Bosson.
Bosson had made a special commitment to ride the filly at her carded weight of 54.5kgs, the first time he’s ridden that light since guiding multiple Group I winner Probabeel to victory in the 2020 Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m) at Ellerslie.
The star jockey was duly rewarded for his efforts, as the filly strode past race rivals Sacred Satono and Mascarinto in the closing 150m after tracking the pair throughout.
Bosson had been aboard Bright Blue Sky when she won comfortably over 800m at the Matamata trials at the beginning of the month and after riding her in trackwork, told Richards he wanted the raceday ride.
“When I rode her in trackwork, I didn’t want to miss out on raceday so I told David (Ellis) and Jamie I would make the 54.5kgs,” Bosson said.
“I actually did it quite easily in the end.
“She is still learning as she was on and off the bit, but that can happen on raceday when they go a bit quicker.
“I just liked the way she balanced up underneath me and she went to the line with her ears back, so she was having a real go.
“I followed the first two as I thought they were the two speed horses.
“I didn’t want to get caught up in behind them, so I popped off the rail and while she took a little bit to balance up, she then changed legs and won quite nicely in the end.”
Bred at Coolmore, Bright Blue Sky was a $600,000 Magic Millions purchase for David Ellis / Andrew Williams Bloodstock from the Coolmore draft and is the second foal from Blue Blue Sky, a winning Lonhro daughter of Group III placed Napa Sky, who hails from one of New Zealand’s finest female families.
Napa Sky is a sister to Group II winner La Sizeranne and half-sister to the dam of Group I winner Tavago from the family of Group I stars Grosvenor, National Gallery, Mahaya and champions Lonhro and Lankan Rupee.
Blue Blue Sky has a yearling filly by American Pharoah, but no foal this year after missing in 2020 and has been covered by Fastnet Rock’s Champion son Merchant Navy so will produce a three-quarter sibling to Bright Blue Sky next spring.
Jamie Richards admitted he was relieved to get a debut win under his belt with the filly.
“A bit of relief there as she has a pretty big rap on her,” he said.
“She hasn’t put a foot wrong the whole way through and first time to the races she is a stakes winner, so you can’t argue with that.
“There was a good, genuine tempo and she was able to relax and breathe and then build momentum with one to follow.
“She will go home now and have a few days out then I’ll have a talk to the boss and work out where to next.
“The dream would be to get her back to the Gold Coast for races there (Magic Millions), although we don’t have to make any decisions today.
“The sky’s the limit and we’re looking forward to where she is going to end up as it was very exciting the way she was able to win.”
Bright Blue Sky is the 183rd stakes-winner for champion sire Fastnet Rock, who has given David Ellis and his Te Akau team plenty of past success with his champion daughter Avantage.