More Than Ready (USA) is renowned for his longevity and he’s passed that gene on to born-again Perth sprinter Lockroy.
Now an 8yo evergreen, he stormed home for a first-up victory in the $100,000 New Season Sprint (1000m) at Belmont on Saturday. It was an impressive lead-up to a black-type campaign later this month in the Belmont Newmarket LR and Idyllic Prince Stakes LR.
Lockroy began his career with wins at Canterbury and Rosehill for Team Hawkes before transferring to Ascot trainer Chris Gangemi. “He’s done a great job earning over $500,000 and has returned in top order,” Gangemi said. “He will have a break next month and then come back for the Winterbottom.”
The $1million Winterbottom Stakes Gr.1 will be run at Ascot on November 30.
Winning jockey Jarrad Noske would have been happy to run a good second after being pocketed in the straight. “I knew he would fly when we finally got clear but I was worried it would be too late. He’s put up a big performance to get there right on the line.”
Lockroy is a son of 2003 Golden Slipper Gr.1 winner Polar Success (Success Express). Her only other foal by the Vinery legend was Randwick winner Polarmore who stands at Oxley Island Thoroughbreds in NSW.
More Than Ever is another More Than Ready who has taken time to find his best form for trainer Tony McEvoy. The 5yo gelding won twice at Morphettville in July and completed a hat-trick in the Chandler MacLeod Hcp (2500m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
“He’s been a bit frustrating but there’s more to come from now on,” McEvoy claimed. “He doesn’t like it too firm and was happy in the soft conditions today. It was good ride by Jamie (Kah) and it’s great to win again for Raffles Racing. They’ve been great supporters of the stable.”
More Than Ever is a younger brother to NZ Oaks Gr.1 winner More Than Sacred. Raffles Racing founder Dato Yap bought their dam Danalaga (Danehill) for $250,000 as a broodmare prospect at the 2009 Magic Millions National Sale.
“I knew there was so much horse beneath me,” Kah said. “He’s not like your normal stayer that just grinds away. He switches off and then explodes!”
More Than Ready ($55,000) stands at Vinery alongside All Too Hard ($27,500), Star Turn ($22,000), Headwater ($16,500), Press Statement ($16,500), Pluck ($6,600) & Casino Prince ($6,600). All fees (inc. GST).