Flemington Stakes Winner for Choisir
Former star Coolmore sires Encosta de Lago and High Chaparral have enjoyed good success over a busy long weekend of racing in Australia with Group II victories for Fenway (4m High Chaparral x Deedra, by Zabeel) and Sovereign Nation (3c Encosta de Lago x Sovereign Duchess, by Last Tycoon) at Moonee Valley on Friday night, then Chautauqua (5g Encosta de Lago x Lovely Jubly, Lion Hunter) at Flemington on Sunday, while current sire Choisir also added to the tally with a smart stakes-winner at Flemington. Trained at the Sunshine Coast by John Zielke, smart entire Worthy Cause (4f Choisir x Tahnee Tango, by Lonhto) scored his first interstate win when taking out the Listed VRC Paris Lane Stakes to close an action packed Sunday at Flemington. Partnered by Luke Dittman, Worthy Cause led throughout to win the 1,400 metre sprint by half a head in a tenacious display and will now look towards the Group II MVRC Crystal Mile at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate Day. "He's a model racehorse to train," said John Zielke. "He's dangerous at any time. The horse is still learning. "That's normally not his pattern of racing - to lead - but because there was no speed on, my instructions to Luke was to go forward and make it a real race." A modest $26,000 Magic Millions National Yearling Sale purchase from the Canning Downs Stud draft, Worthy Cause has the tidy record of five wins and five placings from 15 starts with prizemoney topping $364,000. Bred by Ian Millard, Worthy Cause is the latest stakes-winner for an impressive female family that has been nurtured by Mr Millard over many years. He is a half-brother to Group III placed Octane Flyer and is the second foal of Group III placed Grand Lodge (USA) mare Tahnee Tango, whose grand-dam is celebrated producer Pride of Tahnee. Pride of Tahnee had 11 foals to race, all winners headed by Group I winners Shogun Lodge, Referral and Singing the Blues. Worthy Cause is one of 69 stakes-winners worldwide for evergreen sire Choisir.