Winning Debut for Justify Colt
Glamour filly Learning to Fly (2f Justify x Ennis Hill, by Fastnet Rock) may not have ended her season quite as connections would have liked when losing her rider in the Golden Slipper, but her sire Justify has been quick to post a promising new recruit with Californian (2c Justify x La Pomme de Pin, by I Am Invincible) overcoming adversity to score at Hawkesbury on Thursday.
Trained by Gerald Ryan and Sterling Alexiou, Californian has been give a good grounding with two trials last year and another two leading into his debut in the 1100m maiden against older rivals.
Ridden by Tim Clark, he found himself travelling deep and never saw the inside fence at any stage, although he saw a lot of the outside one close to home!
Californian let down with a good turn of foot and despite being carried wide and wider still by the runner-up Sumo Star, he was tenacious to the line and won by a long head.
Californian was a modest $125,000 Magic Millions purchase for TFI from the Torryburn Stud draft and is the first foal of well bred I Am Invincible mare La Pomme de Pin, who won the Ballarat Magic Millions 2YO Classic at her second start.
She comes from the family of the former brilliant Torryburn Stud bred and raced sprinter Deploy, a multiple Group winner of over $800,000 in prizemoney from their former classy mare Crimson Reign.
Californian is the second Australian winner for Triple Crown hero Justify, who has sired seven stakes-winners from his first crop in the Northern Hemisphere that are now three year-olds.
Justify has a terrific draft of a dozen yearlings for Inglis Easter that include youngsters from Group I winning mares Nakeeta Jane, The Party Stand and Invincibella, who is by I Am Invincible, so her filly to be offered by Coolmore as Lot 180 is bred on the same cross as Californian.
Justify also has siblings to Group I winners Catchy and Age of Fire, plus a stunning colt bred on the same cross as Learning to Fly being the third foal from Group II winning Fastnet Rock mare Formality.