Fastnet Fires at Flemington
Champion sire Fastnet Rock started Super Saturday at Flemington with an early stakes double courtesy of speedy three year-old filly Anatina (3f Fastnet Rock x Quack, by Magic Ring) and expensive juvenile colt Zululand (2c Fastnet Rock x Dream Play, by Hennessy), who led a Group II trifecta for Coolmore sires. A $1.5 million Inglis Easter purchase from the Kia Ora Stud draft for Tom Magnier and China Horse Club, the David Hayes trained Zululand had shown ability, albeit without winning, in three previous runs and relished the step up to 1400 metres and wide open spaces of Flemington. He settled back in the field for Steve Baster and surged hard to the line to win the Group II VRC Sires Produce Stakes by a length and a half over Awesome Rock (2c Fastnet Rock x Aweseom Planet, by Giant's Causeway) with last start stakes-winner Marcado (2g Choisir x Circles of Ice, by Marauding) in third. "Being a Fastnet Rock, they just get better as their preparations go on. They are just not built for those early two-year-old races and they get better and better as the season goes on,” David Hayes said. "He’s just been crying out for the distance and unfortunately in Australia, they don’t run seven-furlong two-year-old races until now. "The first one (1400m race) that stepped up, he got the job done so it was really good.” Zululand will now head to Sydney for races such as the Group I ATC Sires Produce Stakes and Champagne Stakes at Royal Randwick. "He’s invited himself into the million-dollar Sires’ in Sydney and probably the $500,000 Champagne (Stakes),” Hayes said. "They are stallion-making races and he’s got a stallion’s pedigree, so we have got to get him there.” Bred and offered for sale by Kia Ora Stud, Zululand is the first foal of US Group II winner Dream Play (USA), a half-sister by Hennessy to Group I winner Diplomat Lady. Dream Play was purchased for Kia Ora Stud at the Fasig-Tipton Broodmare Sale in North America by James Bester Bloodstock for $US460,000 and her current yearling is another stunning Fastnet Rock colt that will be offered at Inglis Easter this year as Lot 417. Zululand is the 56th stakes-winner for Fastnet Rock, who scored in the previous race with the Robert Smerdon trained filly Anatina. Already a Flemington stakes-winner during the spring, Anatina resumed from a spell to take out the Listed VRC MSS Security Stakes over 1100 metres by three-quarters of a length, her fourth win from eight starts. An expensive $460,000 Magic Millions purchase from the draft of Rosari Farm for Bahen Bloodstock and Malua Racing, Anatina has won $257,750 and runs for Lakeview Resources and Phil Sly.