Victorian bred gelding Ninth Legion notched his first black-type victory in the G2 Villiers Stakes (1550m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Ninth Legion (4g Fastnet Rock – Xaar’s Jewel by Xaar) was bred by Davilora Lodge at Woodend and the Villiers entitled him to an automatic entry into the $3 million Doncaster Hcp in April.
“He always had the talent but wasn’t racing up to his potential so we had him gelded,” co-trainer Michael Hawkes revealed. “The Villiers has always been the plan this preparation – it was a good tough win. He’s still a work in progress and there’s no reason why he can’t step up again.”
Jockey Peter Robl has developed a real affinity with Ninth Legion winning 4 times in 5 rides on the four year-old. “He was spot-on today and was humming going to the barriers. I also won on his dam Xaar’s Jewel who was trained by the late, great Roger Hoysted.”
Davilora Lodge owner Lorraine Thomas and her late husband David raced numerous winners over the years but none better than Lad of The Manor (Zabeel). He was also trained by Hoysted and defeated Cox Plate winners Makybe Diva, Fields Of Omagh and El Segundo in the 2005 Feehan Stakes at Moonee Valley.
Lad of The Manor graduated to a Group 1 victory in the following year’s Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington. “He was the last horse to beat Makybe Diva,” Lorraine recalled. “He’s still up at Davilora in retirement. I sent all our other horses to Mick Talty at Edinglassie Stud after David died in 2009.”
Edinglassie Stud sold Ninth Legion for $110,000 at the 2011 Inglis Easter yearling sale. His dam Xaar’s Jewel is a half-sister to LR Grafton Ramornie Hcp winner Kidlat (Snippets).
Xaar’s Jewel has a yearling filly by Dane Shadow and foaled a colt by Foxwedge in October.
– Karl Patterson