Group Two Quinella for Fastnet
Champion sire Fastnet Rock provided the quinella in the $600,000 Group II ATC Percy Sykes Stakes at Randwick on the second day of The Championships with blue-blooded Victorian visitor Shoals (2f Fastnet Rock x The Broken Shore, by Hussonet) outgunning Blue Diamond place-getter Formality (2f Fastnet Rock x Jolie's Shinju, by Jolie's Halo). Brilliant when winning on debut at Seymour on February 21, the Lee and Anthony Freedman trained Shoals won her second start in the Group III VRC TBV Thoroughbred Club Stakes at Flemington and was sent out favourite for this lucrative Group II sprint. Allowed to settle off the pace by Mark Zahra, Shoals found the line hard and after a tight tussle with Formality emerged a narrow winner. Shoals remains unbeaten with three wins in as many starts and prizemoney of $566,650. "She's a very tenacious filly," Lee Freedman said. "I don't think she really handled the ground all that well but she just has a great will to win. "We went from the maiden to the Breeders and I said to the owners if we win this, and only if we win this, we'll come to Sydney." Shoals was retained to race by her breeders Arrowfield Stud and Jonathan Munz and is the first foal of The Broken Shore, who was bought by Dean Hawthorne Bloodstock for $1.9 million at the Magic Millions Teeley Assets Dispersal in 2014. A metropolitan winner by Hussonet, The Broken Shore is a half-sister to Group I winners Redoute’s Choice, Manhattan Rain and Platinum Scissors as well as Group III winner Sliding Cube and stakes-winner Echoes of Heaven. The Broken Shore has been to Fastnet Rock in three seasons running, so connections will be thrilled with the success of Shoals. Fastnet Rock has had a great season with his two year-olds, who also include the Group I MRC Blue Diamond winner Catchy and highly promising colt Merchant Navy. His yearlings were in keen demand at the 2017 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale this week with 21 youngsters averaging $429,524.