Fresh from one of his best-ever weekends where More Than Ready sired a Group double, including his 22nd Group 1 winner Funtastic (1st United Nations Stakes at Monmouth Park), he is now poised to sire another Group 1 winner with Catholic Boy in Saturday’s $1.2million Belmont Derby Invitational (2000m) in New York.
Catholic Boy handed Analyze It his first loss in the Pennine Ridge Stakes Gr.3 on June 2 and has been kept up to the mark at Saratoga working a half-mile in 49.39s last Saturday. “More than anything, I wanted to see him moving well, happy, and comfortable,” trainer Jonathan Thomas said. “He finished up nicely and galloped out well.”
“It’s the marquee race for 3yo colts on the turf,” Thomas added. “I can’t imagine a race carrying any more clout for that division and I’m happy to have a horse who should be competitive in it.”
Jockey Javiar Castellano praised Catholic Boy after he overcome a bad check to defeat Analyze It last time out. “He likes to fight and he can handle a mile-and-a-quarter (2000m). He doesn’t have to be on the lead. I give all the credit to Mr. Thomas. He told me how to ride the horse and it worked out great.”
Catholic Boy (3c More Than Ready – Song of Bernadette by Bernardini) won the With Anticipation Stakes Gr.3 at Saratoga last August and signed off as a two year-old with a powerful four-length victory in the Remsen Stakes Gr.2 at Aqueduct in December.
More Than Ready’s Perth-based 3yo State Prosecutor is gunning for a running double in the Aquanita Stakes LR on Saturday. The Bob Peters homebred flew home at the end of 1600m in the Belmont Guineas LR a fortnight ago and, like Catholic Boy, will have no trouble handling 2000m.
A race later, Vinery’s prolific winner-getter Casino Prince has Metallic Queen saddling up for the 2000m Belmont Oaks LR. Last weekend Casino Prince sired his 100th winner for the third season in a row, making him the only stallion available in Australia for a fee under $25k to achieve such consistency.
All Too Hard dashed through 100 wins for the season last Saturday and he can grab a Group 1 first in South Africa’s Garden Province Stakes (1600m) this Saturday.
Vinery’s young gun is represented by Roy’s Riviera during the world-famous Durban July card at Greyville. She will be taking on older mares and top-class filly Snowdance who was installed an odds-on favourite in pre-post markets.
Roy’s Riviera has been set for the Garden Province by trainer Frank Robinson since a four-length victory at Greyville in December. She is a half-sister to Strutt Stakes LR winner Sebring Sally and is raced by leading South African owner Roy Moodley.
2018 VINERY STALLION ROSTER
MORE THAN READY: $66,000
ALL TOO HARD: $33,000
STAR TURN: $22,000
PRESS STATEMENT: $16,500
CASINO PRINCE: $9,900
* All service fees (inc. GST)