More Than Ready (USA) shuttled into Australia on Friday and will arrive at Vinery in time for the Stud’s stallion parades on Saturday & Sunday, August 25 & 26.
The legendary shuttler will cover his 18th southern book at a $66,000 service fee following his latest northern season at WinStar Farm in Kentucky.
Vinery’s Group 1 sprinter Star Turn and his first foals will also parade along with fellow Vinery sires All Too Hard, Press Statement, Headwater, Casino Prince and Pluck (USA).
Breakfast begins on both days at 8:30am with the parades commencing at 9am. The stallion barns will then be opened for inspections with refreshments available.
MORE THAN READY is the world’s most experienced shuttler and his longevity comes down to the phenomenal success in both hemispheres and his temperament.
“To successfully travel stallions depends heavily on their temperament and More Than Ready has the best,” IRT boss Quentin Wallace said. “We will need to find a new category of frequent flyer status for him!”
The More Than Ready story started in earnest back in 1999 when he won the Sanford Stakes (1200m) at the famed Saratoga summer meet in New York. He returned to the Spa a year later to cement a spot at stud by winning the King’s Bishop Stakes Gr.1.
The 2018 Saratoga carnival kicked off on Friday and More Than Ready sired the first juvenile winner on opening day when Lyrical Lady set a cracking pace to spreadeagle a 1100m maiden in 64.24s.
Lyrical Lady (2f More Than Ready – La Song by Unbridled’s Song) won by the best part of six lengths and trainer Steve Asmussen is ready to send her straight into stakes company. Black-type options for 2yo fillies at Saratoga in August include the Adirondack Stakes Gr.2, Bolton Landing Stakes LR and Skidmore Stakes LR.
“It wasn’t a secret we planned on running here,” Asmussen said while explaining the reason why his filly was backed into an even-money favourite on debut. “If you’re running in a maiden race this week, you think they’re quality.”
Lyrical Lady starred at this year’s Ocala 2YO Sale in March after clocking the fastest breeze-up. Phoenix Thoroughbreds owner Amer Abdulaziz faced serious competition before lodging a final bid of $625,000. “We liked her speed in the breeze,” Asmussen said. “That purchase price showed that she has a lot of ability.”
Lyrical Lady is bred on the same More Than Ready – Unbridled’s Song cross as Asmussen’s top colt Copper Bullet who won last year’s Saratoga Special Gr.2
Brisbane 2yo Miss Quaintly is another More Than Ready filly with black-type assignments ahead for Phoenix Thoroughbreds. She is being set for the VRC Oaks Gr.1 in November on the strength of a powerful victory in the Tattersall’s QTIS 2YO Hcp (1600m) at Doomben on Saturday.
Trainer David Vandyke has a big opinion of Miss Quaintly who was a $280,000 purchase for Phoenix Thoroughbreds at the 2017 Magic Millions National Yearling Sale. “I’m keen to get her to Melbourne for the Victoria Oaks. She relaxes, finds the line and her breeding suggests she will have no problem getting a trip.”
Her USA-bred dam Quaintly (Giant’s Causeway) was a stakes placed winner over 2500m in North America before arriving here in 2014. She’s a full-sister to Courtofversailles who won at Chantilly prior to relocating to the Gulf where he has won the Qatar Gold Trophy and Al Gharafa Cup.
“Miss Quaintly will have a quick break and then start here at 1600m before heading south,” Vandyke said. “I’ve had three winners for Phoenix Thoroughbreds and they’re just starting to make their presence felt in the racing industry.”