TESTA Rossa gelding Ranger, owned and bred by local identity Bob Peters, scored his third win inside his last six starts when surging clear to take the Listed WATC St Leger Stakes (2100m) at Ascot on Saturday.
This was the first stakes win for the Grant Williams trained gelding who was backed in from $2 to start $1.90 after finishing 2.5-lens fifth in the Group One WATC Kingston Town Stakes (1800m) seven days earlier.
Esteemed matriarch Marrich Bay enhanced her reputation as one of the most successful mares owned in Western Australia after adding a third Stakes winner from among her five winning offspring.
Ranger is the sixth foal of Marrich Bay (by Old Spice) whose first foal, Hardrara, won over $850,000 highlighted by the Group One WATC Railway Stakes, Group Two Winterbottom, twice, Group Two Lee Steere Stakes as well as three stakes races at 2 including the Sires’ Produce.
Marrich’s third foal, Storm Alert, won the Group Two MRC W.W. Cockram Stakes and placed in the VRC Oaks.
Ranger becomes Testa Rossa’s 30th stakeswinner at distances varying from 1000 to 2500m.
“Testa Rossa has proven to be a very versatile stallion throughout his career,” says Vinery Stud’s Conor Phelan, “he has sired a Derby winner, countless sprinters and milers and now a St Leger winner.”
Meanwhile, Testa Rossa mare Ortensia lost no admirers, indeed is likely to have picked up a few, after her outstanding effort in the Group One International Sprint (1200m) at Sha Tin on Sunday.
The Tony Noonan trained mare finished 1.8-lens fifth behind J J The Jet Plane, Rocket Man and defending champion Sacred Kingdom at odds of $34.
“That was a great effort when you consider the the class of the opposition. Hong Kong’s international day is as good as any other major racing carnival in the world and the Sprint in particular is always hotly contested,” Phelan noted.
“Of course Ortenisa had that little hiccup when she threw Jake Noonan the week before, so to come out and do what she did was a credit to her.”