MORE Than Ready daughter and Blue Diamond hot-pot Samaready could press on to next month’s Golden Slipper Stakes if all goes to plan in tomorrow’s $1m feature.
Vinery’s Peter Orton, who selected Samaready as a yearling, says obviously the possibility of a Slipper tilt remains on the table but only if things go to plan this weekend.
”We’re just concentrating on the Blue Diamond for now, it is a huge ask, especially for a filly, to target two premier races at this level in the same preparation, but, being by More Than Ready, you are at least confident you have a chance” Orton said.
Only two horses have been able to pull off the Blue Diamond/Golden Slipper double starting with Courtza in 1989 followed by Sepoy last year.
Samaready soared to favouritism for the Blue Diamond after an easy win by 3.3-lens in the Prelude on February 11, eight weeks after a polished debut win at Flemington.
”Mick had her in great condition for the Prelude and advises that she pulled up very well after the race. She has worked along well since, showing the improvement you look for going into a race at this level” Orton reported. ”A lot of things can go wrong with two-year-olds but she seems to be nicely on track and she is a class filly.”
As well as the enormous benefits that come with winning a Blue Diamond, a Samaready victory would be a personal triumph for Orton since his involvement in the establishment of Vinery in Scone back in 2000.
He was instrumental in securing, planning matings and promoting the unknown quantity that was to become the Stud’s flagship and one of the world’s best sires, More Than Ready.
”I am especially hopeful that the filly can win for Dr Tom Simon, who has had four favourites for the Blue Diamond in Kenvain, Rose Of Danehill, Halibery and Perfectly Ready, for two seconds and a third, not to mention that he is the man who backed the purchase of More Than Ready to stand at stud for Vinery.” Orton told us.
” It is for all these reasons, it is More Than Ready himself that is an absolute personal highlight for me.
”To be part of the success of a horse like More Than Ready, a horse that we have so much faith in to become such a great stallion all around the world is very rewarding.”
Samaready was bred by Vinery partner Gerry Harvey, who offered the filly through the Vinery Draft at the 2011 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling sale and was subsequently bought by Damon Gabbedy for $150,000 on behalf of several of the Vinery partners and Neville Gibsons Newstead Group in Victoria.
”We were very keen on the filly after seeing what the mare (Secret Savings daughter Samar) had been producing at stud already.” Orton said.
”Obviously More Than Ready is proving to be possibly the best outcross for Danehill mares but few have appreciated what he has done crossing back over Mr Prospector line mares also.
”He is one of the few stallions who does that particularly well – so I was really keen on the pedigree balance, added to the fact she was a stunning looking filly.”
The 2011/12 season is shaping up as a red-letter year for More Than Ready who has sired more two-year-old winners than any other stallion in the period.
He has three stakes winners, another one stakes placed, and several highly regarded youngsters in the nation’s leading stables.
”I know of another four or five highly rated two-year-olds that are yet to race,” Orton revealed, ”he had another winner on Sunday (Assassinate at Wyong) who trainer Gerald Ryan speaks really highly of.”
Orton explained that the current crop of two-year-olds and yearlings by More Than Ready are a result of the best quality books he has received since going to stud.
”On the back of landing two consecutive Golden Slipper winners, the market responded and the better pedigreed mares and the more suitable type of mare came to him.
”In a period when there some very good stallions around, to have the favourites for both the Blue Diamond and Golden Slipper is an illustration of his prowess,” Orton noted.