More milestones for Blackfriars

Durham Lodge sire Blackfriars began October by passing two notable milestones and he can finish the month with a flourish in the G1 Victoria Derby.

Blackfriars sired his 100th individual Australian winner at Belmont Park last Saturday when If You Do overcame difficulties to score an impressive victory in the Baileys Irish Cream Handicap (1400m).

If You Do (3g Blackfriars – Imagine If by Ifrad) is trained by Brad Graham at Lark Hill and, with natural improvement, could develop into a classic candidate later this season.  ‘‘He’s got plenty of ability and will develop into a top stayer,’’ Graham said.  ‘‘We will probably give him one more run this prep and then put him away for the WA Derby.”

If You Do is a homebred for Helen Starley who raced his dam Imagine If to 9 wins in Perth up to 1670 metres.  

Starley has enjoyed a memorable month in Perth and the Goldfields.  Her stayer Sunrange (Eternity Range) won the Listed Kalgoorlie Cup on September 18 and will return in the New Year for a crack at the Pinjarra and Bunbury Cups.

Meanwhile, Blackfriars has a live chance in the G1 Victoria Derby on October 30 after his gelding Eclair Surprise won last Sunday’s Listed Super Impose Stakes at Flemington.  He is prepared by Peter Moody and the Caulfield trainer believes the further he goes the better.

“He’s always shown ability but is still learning,” Moody said.  “Blackfriars won a Victoria Derby and we will give him a chance to win it as well.”

Eclair Surprise (3g Blackfriars-French Scene by Scenic) was a $65,000 buy from Durham Lodge at the 2009 Perth Magic Millions yearling sale.  He is from Scenic mare French Scene and his second dam is G2 Winterbottom Stakes winner French Sound.

Blackfriars unearthed another potential black-type winner when Kardinia Park blew away his rivals on debut in the Rufus The Train Maiden (1400m) at Northam on Thursday.

Kardinia Park (3c Blackfriars – Belle Chanson by Biscay) is bred in the purple being a son of G1 SAJC Australian Oaks winner Belle Chanson.  He is the last of her 11 winners.  Durham Lodge pensioned the mare when she was rising 24 earlier this year.

The Kardinia Park result credited Blackfriars with 101 individual Australian winners.  They have won 306 races and earned over $7.67 million.

Worldwide, Blackfriars has sired 117 winners of 358 races in five countries.  He is currently serving his tenth book at Durham Lodge at an $8,800 service fee.