Straight Arron (Fastnet Rock) winning the Gr.3Queen Mother Memorial at Sha Tin

Rising Star Stayer for Fastnet Rock

Former Chris Waller trained stablemates ran the quinella in the Group III Queen Mother Memorial Cup (2400m) at Sha Tin on Sunday with Straight Arron (4g Fastnet Rock x Imperial Lass, by Tavistock) defeating Sword Point (4g American Pharoah x Jazz Song, by Fastnet Rock).

Straight Arron looked a star on the rise after four Australian starts for two wins and two placings that included a win in the Group III ATC Carbine Club Stakes.

He’s been steadily working into form for new trainer Caspar Fownes and was fifth in the Hong Kong Derby before winning his most recent start.

With three wins from his past four starts, Straight Arron overcame relative inexperience and maturity to score a long neck win and left Fownes to ponder a possible GroupI Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup (2400m) tilt on 28 May.

“He’s a good horse, his true rating is still not there but we’ll see how he pulls up,” Fownes said.

“We’ll make an entry. I wouldn’t think it’s going to be too big a field, probably about six or seven runners, so we’ll just see.

“He’s done his job already and I’m looking forward to next season. What he’s done in such a short period is pretty hard to do and history tells you that once you start to get up to these ratings, you can progress through and hopefully be a really nice horse.”

Bred and sold by Torryburn Stud, Straight Arron was a $270,000 Inglis Easter purchase and is the first winner from Group I placed Tavistock mare Imperial Lass (NZ), a three-quarter sister-in-blood to Group I ATC Australian Derby winner Tavago.

Given the staying blood his female family it’s no surprise to see him excel over a longer trip.

“That was good. He toughed it out. It was a hard effort for him, there was no pace and he just trucked up there nicely and all you can do is get a winning result,” Fownes said.

“Conditions were quite tough today, he’s jumped from 1800m to 2400m – it’s a big step up in a short period of time. We’re proud of him, he’s going the right way.

In downing Group I winners Russian Emperor and Panfield and Queen Mother Memorial Cup winners Butterfield and Senor Toba, Straight Arron continued a swift emergence, Ho believes could propel the Fastnet Rock gelding to the highest levels next season.

“Straight Arron is a nice horse. It was a tough run but, with the light weight, it helped. He’s a decent horse,” Ho said.

“At the Internationals (LONGINES Hong Kong International Races) next season, we can aim for some races – it will be fun.”

Torryburn Stud have retained a Pierro yearling filly from Imperial Lass and there is a filly to follow by Wootton Bassett.