Petrus Leads Exciting Double For Zoffany
The Brian Meehan-trained Petrus (4g Zoffany - Ambrosine, by Nashwan) returned to winning ways in the valuable Unibet Spring Mile Handicap at Doncaster on the first meeting of the British flat season.
The G.P.M. Morland-owned bay had excellent juvenile form, including a fine fourth behind Roaring Lion (Scat Daddy) at Group 2 level, and was having his first start since being gelded on Saturday. Ridden to track the leaders by Tom Marquand, the bay was asked to challenge at the two furlong pole and was pushed to lead over a furlong from home. Ridden out, he beat Exec Chief (Excelebration) by half a length.
Brian Meehan commented after the race, “Petrus showed a lot as a two-year-old and last year he was knocking on the door all the time. This race has been the plan for a while, as we knew he wouldn't get into the Lincoln, and I'm really pleased for him. The Spring Cup at Newbury may come too soon but there is a £50,000 handicap at Bath on Good Friday we could think about.”
Bred by Timothy Nuttall, Petrus sold for €65,000 as a foal and is the highest-rated produce of the mare.
Later in the day at Southwell, Astro Jakk (3g Zoffany - By The Edge, by Shinko Forest) made a winning debut in the six furlong Novice Stakes for Karl Burke and John Dance.
Chasing the leaders under Clifford Lee, he was shaken up to challenge two furlongs out and ran on to lead with half a furlong left to race, striding a length clear on the line. Karl Burke later said of the winner, “Hopefully he’s a horse with a bit of a future.”
Bred by P Hyland and C & J McHale, Astro Jakk was sold to Salcey Forest Stud for €42,000 at the Goffs November Foal Sale. He is the first runner out of the mare, a winning full-sister to the dam of Group 1 sprinter Washington DC, also by Zoffany.