Coolmore’s Fastnet Rock sired a stakes double at Pukekohe in New Zealand on Saturday taking his stakes winners tally to 153.
His 152nd stakes winner was provided by Unition’s debut victory in the Fasttrack Insurance Stakes (Listed) over 1100 metres. The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained 2-year-old colt, scored a short-head victory over Scissor Kick filly Hasstobemagic.
Unition, who races in the colours of the China Horse Club, is out of the well-performed Savabeel mare Diademe, who numbered the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (Group 1) amongst her seven career victories.
Unition had caught the eye when winning an 800 metre trial at Cambridge back in September before finishing second behind race-rival Amor Fati over the same distance at Avondale last month.
“We do rate him and were expecting a pretty good run from him,” Baker said.
“He has been nominated for the Golden Slipper but that’s still a fair way off at this stage.
“He comes from a top family with his full brother (Conqueror) runner-up in the Sandown Guineas last weekend.
“We had targeted this race and gave him three trials just to make sure he had enough experience for his first-up run.
“We’ll take him home now and see how he pulls up but there is a possibility that we will take him to Trentham for the Wakefield Stakes in a fortnight.
” Unition is Diademe’s second foal with the mare also having a yearling filly by Vancouver and a filly by Snitzel who was born in September.
Later in the day, In A Twinkling took out the Counties Cup (Group 3) to become the 153rd stakes winner for Fastnet Rock. A NZ$250,000 purchase by David Ellis at the 2017 New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale, In A Twinkling beat Strolling Vagabond and Cutadeel who dead-heated for second by a length and a quarter.
“He’s got really good form as a three-year-old although sometimes you question how genuine he is,” trainer Jamie Richards said.
“In front, rolling along and setting his own tempo is probably the way to ride him.
“He’s had a bit of a frustrating run of seconds and been unlucky here and there so this is really good for the team. “He had very good form in Australia so he is a fair horse but you wouldn’t play cards with him.
“We’ll take him home now and set him for the Waikato Cup as he does have a future as a stayer with some nice races coming up.
” Foaled and raised in Australia at Coolmore, In a Twinkling has now won 3 times from 17 starts and is a half-brother to stakes winner I’m Incredible being out of multiple Group 3 winner Moment in Time, a tough and talented stayer who won up to 2800 metres.
Henley Park sold the brother to In a Twinkling at Karaka Book 1 this year for NZ$250,000 to Lindsay Park Racing / Andrew Williams Bloodstock.
Moment in Time foaled a filly by Fastnet Rock this spring.