Melbourne Cup Runner for So You Think
Improving stayer Realm of Flowers (3f So You Think x Astral Flower, by Kalanisi) won the Group III SAJC Fillies Classic (2500m) on this day last year and 12 months on has become the first horse into the 2021 Melbourne Cup after securing her place with a commanding victory in the Listed VRC Andrew Ramsden Stakes (2800m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Prepared by Anthony and Sam Freedman, Realm of Flowers came into this race off a last start luckless fifth in the Group I ATC Sydney Cup and confirmed the strength of that form when careering away to win by nearly five lengths with Mark Zahra in the saddle.
"She’s a great mare to train," Anthony Freedman said.
"There are no hiccups with her. She’s very straightforward and she deserves a chance (at the Melbourne Cup) and I’d say, she can get a nice cheque.
"She’ll get a bit of weight relief. I think her rating will be a tick over 100 now so that won’t put her too far up the weights and the race you’d think will be a bit short on certainly the overseas horses."
Mark Zahra had an easy ride on the mare, who has the overall record of five wins and five placings from 17 starts with prizemoney in excess of $500,000.
"Exciting for all the owners with a ticket into the Melbourne Cup," Zahra said.
"She’d be a live chance. She’s a fantastic stayer and she gave me a beautiful ride today. I was a winner a long way out.”
A $180,000 Inglis Easter purchase from the Arrowfield draft for renowned bloodstock agent James Bester, who has a share in the ownership, Realm of Flowers runs for a syndicate that also includes Kia Ora and Robert McClure, who raced multiple Group I winning filly Yosei, who carried the same colours as this filly.
Bred by Des Whybird (Desharon Bloodstock) and Russell Board (Stableboard Bloodstock), Realm of Flowers is the best of three winners from Astral Flower (GB), a half-sister by Kalanisi to Group I winner and sire Redwood, who is by So You Think’s sire High Chaparral.
Astral Flower is a grand-daughter of French Oaks winner Jolypha, a full sister to Champion 3YO and European Horse of the Year Dancing Brave, so this is a pedigree steeped in world class classic stamina.
Astral Flower has a weanling filly by Galileo’s champion son Churchill (IRE) and is back in foal to him again.
Realm of Flowers is the 12th Australian stakes-winner this season for So You Think, who nearly had a stakes double with So You Win (6g So You Think x Rhode Island Red, by Tale of the Cat) narrowly touched out in the Group III BRC JRA Chairman’s Trophy at Doomben.
So You Think stands this spring at a fee of $77,000.