International affair as Hitotsu and Converge both triumph in Guineas | Bloodstock News

Reg Ryan / Race Photos

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Hitotsu: Australian Guineas winner headlined Japanese commuter Maurice

Reg Ryan / Race Photos

By Lydia Symonds of ANZ Bloodstock News

The growing influence of international bloodlines in Australia was highlighted once again when Hitotsu – a colt of Arrowfield Stud commuter Maurice – landed Australian Guineas at Flemington, while Converge, a son of unbeaten champion Frankel, produced an impressive performance in the Randwick Guineas.

With those two wins Hitotsu, trained by Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, became the first horse to land the first Flemington 1 group after a spell, while Converge provided Gai Waterhouse – who now trains alongside Adrian Bott – the perfect celebration of 30 years in the ranks of the formation.

Hitotsu’s rise to a true Group 1 winner has been less than conventional. The colt only broke his maiden at Donald over 1350 yards last September, after which he finished fifth to the Caulfield Guineas and then landed his first elite-level contest in the VRC Derby on October 30.

With Maher overseeing the riders from the stables in Sydney, the post-race celebrations and reaction were left to an emotional Eustace, who was joined on the track yesterday by his parents, James and Gay, after finally being reunited with them earlier in the week having not seen them since the start of the pandemic.

“It’s great to have mom and dad here, but I’m bummed the boss isn’t here,” Eustace said.

“He’s in Sydney and we don’t share a lot of big wins.”

Ridden by John Allen, Hitotsu scored with a Lightsaber long neck with Bon’s A Pearler three-quarters away in third.

While he thought the colt had returned in the best shape since winning the Derby, Eustace worried whether the three-year-old would have the burst of speed needed to win a Group 1 over 1600 metres.

“It was a great race and he’s just a really good horse,” Eustace said. “We were confident, but I was a bit worried if he had the speed to pick up the mile, but he needed every inch of the mile.”

“It wasn’t a very nice last 100 [metres]. Johnny has so much confidence in the horse and is rarely overconfident, but he was really confident.

“He’s in the All-Star Mile and that should be a possibility, we know he’s going further, we’ll worry about that tomorrow,” Eustace continued.

The race had been billed as a clash between Hitotsu and Richard Litt-trained Spring Champion Stakes winner Profondo, who was rerouted to the Australian Guineas from Randwick’s equivalent due to wet weather in Sydney. But the son of Deep Impact never looked comfortable and eventually finished 13th out of 15 well beaten runners.

Hitotsu was bought in the draft from Arrowfield Stud by his former trainer Wendy Kelly for $100,000 at the Magic Millions Gold Coast yearling sale last year and he has raced three times as a juvenile for Kelly, including a tenth place in the Blue Diamond Stakes, before being acquired by prominent owner Ozzie Kheir and other patrons and sent to Maher and Eustace for his three-year career.

The colt is out of unreleased mare Love Is Fickle, herself a daughter of Group 1 winner and top producer She’s A Meanie.

She’s A Meanie is the dam of Group 2 winner and sire Love Conquers All and Listed winner She’s Meaner who in turn produced Group 2 winner and Group 1 placed Lean Mean Machine, who stands now at Widden Stud.

Martin King

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Converge: Frankel's son added second top-tier success to his name in Randwick's Guineas

Converge: Frankel’s son added second top-tier success to his name in Randwick’s Guineas

Martin King

Love Is Fickle’s unrivaled two-year-old filly – named Twelfth Night – was purchased by Mystery Downs and Valiant Stud for $150,000 at the Inglis Classic Yearling Sale in 2021, while her filly by Arrowfield Stud sire Shalaa was unsurprisingly snapped up by Maher and Eustace for A$250,000 at the Inglis Premier Yearling sale earlier in the week. Last season Love Is Fickle produced a filly by Castelvecchio, who also resides at Arrowfield and was recently missed by Maurice.

Maurice lives at Shadai Stallion Station in the Northern Hemisphere and is the sire of six Stakes winners in total and his other Australian Stakes winner is Mazu, who added a second Listed victory to his record yesterday when he clinched the Fireball Stakes at Randwick.

Hitotsu was a memorable day’s headline for Arrowfield Stud’s international contingent, with Seven Veils adding to Shalaa’s stakes tally with a win in the Reisling Stakes and once again repaying John Messara’s faith and investment. in the supply of foreign blood for a market overrun with Danehill influence.

Meanwhile, the international theme continued in Sydney as Converge announced the world dominance of Juddmonte Farm champion Frankel, the gelding adding a Randwick Guineas win to his CV to go along with his juvenile Group 1 triumph in the JJ Atkins Stakes.

The gelding had no problem with the Heavy 10 conditions, unleashing a powerful toe turn to finish a neckline ahead of Anamoe, who came from deep and failed horribly in his attempt to knock down the impressive winner. Hilal was two and a quarter lengths further in third.

Waterhouse’s first win as a coach came when Gifted Power won at Hawkesbury and the dynamic coach said she still remembers the day clearly.

“It’s remarkable how this has happened thirty years to the day since Gifted Poet won at Hawkesbury,” Waterhouse said. “I remember this race like it was yesterday.

“Today was the day to win the Randwick Guineas, it’s fabulous to be able to win a Group 1 on this date.”

Bott said they were confident Converge could win, provided he handled the tough conditions.

“The way the race went worked perfectly for us,” Bott said.

“Tim [Clark] was able to put him in a positive position early and the race went around him. He entered a charming place and was able to work there pleasantly.

“When Tim was looking around like that before he let it go, I knew there was a bit more there and I’m glad he was able to show it to us.”

Waterhouse and Bott will let the dust settle before deciding Converge’s next assignment, but the co-trainers said the gelding will likely head to the Doncaster Mile, either via the Rosehill Guineas or the George Ryder Stakes.

Bred by Evergreen Stud Farm on Southern Hemisphere time, Converge is the first foal of the Irish-bred reverse-placed mare, who was purchased by BBA Ireland for £6,000 at the Goffs February Mixed Sale at the Godolphin draft in 2017.

Conversely is a daughter of American Grade 3 winner Melhor Ainda and herself out of Grade 1 striker Potrinner, making her a half sister to Listed winner Danon Go Go.

In 2019, Inverse produced a three-quarter brother to Coverage, a colt by commuter Coolmore Stud Churchill, who was purchased by Raphe Bloodstock for A$28,000 at the 2020 Inglis Weanling Sale. The colt is now named Curator and did not run.

Meanwhile, Converge’s half-brother Invader will be offered as lot 116 by Evergreen Stud Farm at Australia’s Inglis Easter Yearling Sale, which kicks off in Sydney on April 5 and last season Conversely produced a filly by Divine Prophet from Aquis Farm.

Since retiring to Banstead Manor in Newmarket, Frankel has proven to be as dominant a force in breeding as he was on the racecourse and his influence has spread to every corner of the world. , earning an enviable reputation as one of the greatest stallions of the modern era. time. His total bet wins stand at 84 and Converge is among the 20 elite level winners for the conquering stallion.

His record in Australia alone is impressive, with the stallion having sired nine stake winners, including two other Group 1 scorers, Hungry Heart and Northern Hemisphere-bred Mirage Dancer.

In Australia, the Stallion’s 54 runners yielded 34 winners, translating to an extraordinary 67.3% win rate, while his stake winners per runners are an equally impressive 15.2%.

Frankel stands at stud for a hefty £200,000 (about A$359,251).

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