Sensational Debut for Fastnet Rock 2YO
Emirates Park's homebred colt Hilal (2c Fastnet Rock x Salma, by Encosta de Lago) put himself into contention for the big autumn juvenile features when winning impressively on debut at Randwick on Wednesday.
Champion sire Fastnet Rock has had a string of impressive two year-old winners this season and he certainly kept the ball rolling with the Team Hawkes trained Hilal.
The powerful bay was given two quiet trials behind classy colts Home Affairs and Profiteer with Tommy Berry retaining the ride on race day.
Sent out favourite, Hilal was allowed to find his feet from a wide gate and drifted back, before finding himself awkwardly place turning for home with no clear running.
While talented I Am Invincible colt King of Sparta sailed for home, it appeared the bird had flown, but when Tommy Berry finally got Hilal out and running he charged past the other colt to win the 1100m maiden by a long neck in an impressive display.
“He’s a lovely horse and has shown us a lot at home,” said co-trainer Michael Hawkes.
“Tommy just had to wait on him as he had no other option, so if he hadn’t won, he would have been a good thing beaten.”
Hawkes would not be drawn into making comparisons between Hilal and the stable’s other top class 2YO colt Remarque.
“Today is a starting point, who knows where he’ll end up!” Hawkes said.
Winning rider Tommy Berry was full of praise for Hilal.
“I loved his last 100m, he’s got a great attitude for a colt and he really wanted to find the line,” Berry said.
Hilal is a half-brother to South African stakes-winner Trojan Warrior and is the third winner from three to race from blue-blooded Encosta de Lago mare Salma, an unraced daughter of Group III winner Salameh, a half-sister to Emirates Park’s Group I winner and sire Al Maher.
This is the Show Dancing branch of the Dancing Show family, most famous for the Shantha’s Choice branch that has given us Group I winners such as Redoute’s Choice, Manhattan Rain and Shoals, who is by Hilal’s sire Fastnet Rock.
Salma has a yearling filly to follow also by by Fastnet Rock.
Hilal is the fifth Australian two year-old winner for Fastnet Rock this season joining stakes-winners Acrobat and Sneaky Five along with metro winners O’President and Ranch Hand.
He has just two entries for Inglis Classic, both of them fillies – Lot 29 from Emirates Park, a filly from Northern Meteor mare Heredera and Lot 283 from Coolmore, the half-sister to stakes-winner Religify from Sacred Witness.