Vinery meets challenge after Easter Sale

It was back to the everyday business of winning races for Vinery this week in the wake of its most successful Inglis Easter Yearling Sale on record.

Responding a $650,625 average is a monumental challenge but you have to start somewhere and Vinery’s young guns were straight out of the blocks with city winners around Australia.

Star Turn was on the front-foot with his 2yo filly Startantes winning for the second time this prep at Doomben last Saturday.  She turned the tables on Military Gambler after giving him a half-dozen lengths at the furlong in the TAB Venue Mode Hcp (1200m).

Startantes broke through at Eagle Farm in March for part-owner and trainer Rob Heathcote and he indicated the paddock will call time on her first prep.  “She’s had four starts and I was a bit apprehensive when she was prancing about in the yard.  A couple of them have been tough runs, too but Taylor (Marshall) got her out at the right time and she hit the line hard.”

Heathcote has been involved with the family for three generations and he bred her by using Star Turn over his Champagne Classic Gr.2 winner Funtantes (Easy Rocking).

Star Turn’s early-season Brisbane flyer Miss Hipstar is ready to resume after winning a Doomben trial on Monday.  The promising Kelly Schweida-trained filly earned a start in the $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic RL following a running double at Ipswich and Doomben before Christmas.

Impact Star closed the working week with another pay-day for Star Turn at Port Macquarie on Friday.  He held the rails from an inside gate and kept finding for an impressive win over Dawntillarvi (Dawn Approach) and fast-closer Imatruestar (Star Turn) in the Trackside Photography Hcp (1000m).

“He’s come back from a break more mature and was ready to go today,” trainer Damian Lane reported.  “He was unlucky not to win at Canberra on debut when he shied at the post and he wasn’t disgraced in the Wyong Magic Millions.

“He’s a beautiful animal and doesn’t over-exert himself.  It was an excellent steer by ‘Digger’ McLellan and he isn’t just a 2yo, either.  He will train on from here and the owners are going to have some fun with him.”

Lane also prepares Vinery’s homebred Star Turn filly Sonnet Star who was last seen winning the $200,000 Wellington Boot on March 28.

Star Turn is second on the Australian first-season individual winners’ premiership (6 from 23 starters) behind the leader Capitalist (8 from 37 starters).

Headwater is locked in a four-way battle for the Australian second-season titles in 2020-21.  Pride Of Dubai leads ($2.17million – 35 winners) albeit by a slim margin from the other three including Headwater ($1.87million – 33 winners).

He lifted the bar a day after the Inglis Easter Sale when Arctic Thunder stormed down the outside in the Great Northern Hcp (1350m) at Wyong.  It improved her record to 4 wins in 8 starts for Darby Racing after making $30,000 through the Vinery draft (as agent for Greg Perry) at the 2019 Inglis Classic Sale.

River Twain is another Headwater graduate from the 2019 Classic Sale and he’s already paid back a $140,000 price-tag after winning for a second time at Morphettville last Saturday.   He’s also doubled up at Geelong for trainers Mick Price & Michael Kent Jnr.

Press Statement is a Top 10 sire on the second-season table ($1.40million – 23 winners) and that was enhanced on Wednesday when Time Scale saluted in Perth.

Racing first-up from a spell, she worked outside the leader and then held off the late challenge of Material Witness (Star Witness) in the Heineken Hcp (1000m) at Ascot.  “She’s been a slow burn but is a stakes horse of the future,” trainer Simon Miller predicted.  “She’s always had the raw ability – we ran her in last year’s Karrakatta – but the penny didn’t drop until we brought her back in for this prep.

“She was strong physically but not mentally.  Now I’m really bullish about her.  She will go through the grades and will improve again with shades.”

Time Scale was a $37,500 foal buy for Miller at the 2018 Magic Millions National Weanling Sale.  Her dam Before the Present (Hussonet) is an unraced half-sister to Silver Slipper Gr.2 winner Domesday (Red Ransom).

Press Statement 3yo Hurry Hurry Gain completed a Hong Kong double for Frankie Lor at Sha Tin last week while Steel Win is another expat with ability.  He’s trained by Michael Chang and will be coming off a Sha Tin trial win when he starts at Happy Valley next Wednesday.

Star Turn filly wins her maiden at Eagle Farm