Matt Cumani has a lot of time for his last-start 2yo winner Fortune Ahead and intends giving the More Than Ready colt enough time to maximise his potential next season.
Fortune Ahead powered through heavy going second time out in the Boss Security Plate (1200m) at Ballarat last month. With Fred Kersley aboard, he put more than four lengths between the placegetters French Boss (Street Boss) and Energy Within (Toronado).
The home-town victory followed an unplaced sighter a fortnight earlier at Echuca. “He really came on for that first start,” Cumani said. “He settled second-last and kept looking around at Echuca. It was all part of the education process and he learned a lot from that day out.
“Back here, he jumped and tracked the leader into the straight before going clear. We gave him a fortnight off after that win and he’s just started cross-training in the build-up to next season.”
Fortune Ahead is a son of Vinery legend More Than Ready (USA) from Miss Mooney Mooney (Redoute’s Choice) who is a Stakes-winning half-sister to the dam of immediate stud success Better Than Ready (More Than Ready).
“We will give him a chance to show us whether he’s ready for the better races at the spring carnival,” Cumani said. “He’s a super-looking colt but I’m not going to push him. I would rather they reach that level organically instead of cranking them up too quickly.
“He will keep maturing and should be peaking as an autumn 3yo for Mrs Li and the team at Yulong Investments.”
Fortune Ahead cost $155,000 from Merricks Station at the 2019 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale. Yulong Investments boss Zhang Yuesheng has already struck black-type with More Than Ready courtesy of his talented filly Kooweerup (SA Breeders’ Stakes Gr.3).
In New Zealand, More Than Ready’s exciting 2yo filly Vernazza is also getting ready for the Victorian spring carnival, however, a trip across the Tasman depends on travel controls currently enforced into Australia.
Vernazza won the Matamata Breeders’ Stakes Gr.2 in February and then finished strongly when runner-up to Cool Aza Beel in the Sistema Stakes Gr.1 at Ellerslie. “The Thousand Guineas (Gr.1) at Caulfield is a long-range goal if they relax the restrictions,” Cambridge Stud CEO Henry Plumptre said on Tuesday. “We have a joint venture with Te Akau Racing and have boxes booked at Flemington.”
Plumptre reports Vernazza is already in work and will step-up with Te Akau trainer Jamie Richards at Karaka in preparation for a proposed flight in August. Richards takes over from Lance Noble who prepared her last season.
Vernazza is a homebred for Cambridge Stud owners Brendan and Jo Lindsay. They used More Than Ready over Zonza (Zabeel) who had won the 2013 Ladies Day Vase Gr.3 at Caulfield before retiring to NZ.
The Lindsays also race Letzbeglam (Snitzel) who won this year’s Blue Diamond Prelude Gr.2 at Caulfield. She cost $280,000 from Vinery’s draft to the 2019 Gold Coast Magic Millions.
More Than Ready’s latest Australian 2yo crop jumped the gun with Global Quest winning the Breeders’ Plate Gr.3 at Randwick in October. He’s finishing the season with a bang and came up with another incredible statistic at Hawkesbury on Sunday.
Angel Helena (2f More Than Ready – Planet Rock by Fastnet Rock) flew from last to win the Robert Oatley Wines Maiden Plate (1400m) in a performance that would have pleased her owner-breeders Ger Beemsterboer and Sarah Green.
World-wide, Angel Helena became the 500th individual 2yo winner by More Than Ready. There have been 76 Stakes winners in that age-group among an overall career total of 202 Stakes winners.