Stakes-treble continues Mill Park’s amazing run

Mill Park has already celebrated a successful season, thanks mainly to G1 Victoria Derby winner Warning (Declaration Of War {USA}) and Magic Millions 2YO Classic winner – and G1 Golden Slipper S. runner-up – Away Game (Snitzel), but it is far from finished with adding to the honour board as the Group 1 season arrives in its home state.

Its graduates already feature high in the market for the G1 South Australian Derby on May 9, with Dalasan (Dalakhani {Ire}) and Warning running first and third respectively in the traditional lead-up, the G3 Chairman’s S. on Saturday.

Dalasan’s victory was his fifth at stakes level for the season, the equal best of any horse in Australia, and trainers Leon Macdonald and Andrew Gluyas have the colt poised for a well-deserved Group 1 victory at his next start.

“It’s been amazing to see Leon Macdonald continue to have that success. He’s continued on the preparation for this colt after his Melbourne preparation and it really shows you what a tough and resilient horse he is. Leon is very confident he should put in a top showing in the Derby,” Mill Park General Manager Chris Watson said.

The hard-fought victory on Saturday was the sixth time a Mill Park-raised horse has won the Chairman’s S., with Dalasan joining Waging War (Rebel Raider), Gamblin’ Guru (New Approach {Ire}), Rebel Raider (Reset), Obglo (High Yield {USA}) and Mummify (Jeune {GB}). All but Mummify were trained by Macdonald (either in partnership with Gluyas or on his own).

“Leon is very confident he should put in a top showing in the Derby.” – Chris Watson

Both Mummify and Rebel Raider were able to go on and win the Derby, something Watson feels Dalasan can do, given both his pedigree and his latest performances.

Mill Park Stud’s Chris Watson

“There was always a little question mark early on (about his staying credentials), because of how brilliant he was as a 2-year-old and in the style of his running. But as he continues to get out in trip, he continues to show that style of racing and based on that 2000 metre trip, Leon is confident he should be able to go on,” he said.

Fellow Mill Park graduate Warning, who worked home well from the rear of the field to finish third, beaten by 2l, shapes as a very handy back up should his trainer Anthony Freedman opt to attempt the Derby double, something that hasn’t been completed since Rebel Raider did it 11 years ago.

“It was a fantastic run from Warning. He was really travelling well late in that race,” Watson said.

Ecumenical at the double

Mill Park graduates bookended the card with stakes victories, with tough filly Ecumenical (Zebedee {GB}) making it back-to-back black-type wins in the G3 Breeders’ S.

She was a $14,000 buy for trainer Mick Huxtable at last year’s Magic Millions Adelaide Yearling Sale and has now returned her owners a very tidy $186,300, not to mention her residual value as a dual stakes-winning filly.

Another Mill Park graduate Ecumenical, was a $14,000 yearling purchase from the 2019 Magic Millions Adelaide Sale

“It’s great that she was picked up locally by Mick Huxtable,” Watson said. “He was viewing our draft, and she was on parade for someone else, and she happened to catch his eye.

“It’s been a great result for Mick Huxtable and the owners of the mare too. We’ve got some progeny of the mare, who are going to have a big increase in their value.”

The filly’s dam Amalgamate (Zenno Rob Roy {USA}), has a Shooting To Win yearling filly and visited So You Think (NZ) last year for breeders Perry Gunner and David Wagner.

An Anzac Day Dawn

Dawn Passage (Dawn Approach {Ire}) added a second stakes win to his resume at Rosehill, with a dominant success in the G3 Hawkesbury Guineas.

Having tackled some elite 3-year-olds during the spring, Dawn Passage, a $150,000 yearling purchase from Inglis’ Premier Sale for his trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, as well as Blue Sky Bloodstock, won for the first time since his Listed Rosebud S. win in August.

Dawn Passage was a $150,000 yearling purchase

“I had a little chat with Adrian Bott via text after the race and he’s now pretty confident that he’s showing his best,” Watson said. “He’s pretty excited and looking forward to his future too. He’s shown glimpses of brilliance, and it looks like he’s really buckling down and showing what he is made of.”

“He’s shown glimpses of brilliance, and it looks like he’s really buckling down and showing what he is made of.” – Chris Watson

For Watson, a run of results like Saturday are a great reward for the hard work of those on the farm and a timely distraction in what are uncertain times for everyone.

“It really was a good day. It’s a fantastic tonic to keep everybody’s spirits up on the farm. It really was a fantastic result to get two stakes winners here in South Australia and to get a really nice winner there at Rosehill as well,” he said.

Saturday’s winners have kept spirits high on the South Australian Farm

Broodmare sales on the radar

As well as events on the racetrack, Mill Park is also focussed on the upcoming Inglis Chairman’s Sale and Inglis Australian Broodmare Sale, where it has two mares slated to sell for clients.

Its lone offering in the Chairman’s Sale is multiple Group winner and Group 1 placegetter Arabian Gold (Dubawi {Ire}), who is in foal to I Am Invincible and is catalogued as Lot 28.

Multiple Group winner Arabian Gold will be offered for sale in foal to I Am Invincible as Lot 28 of the Inglis Chairman’s Sale

“She will certainly be a great addition to someone’s broodmare band. A Group 2-winning mare by one of the hottest sires in the world, in foal to a crack stallion, she should have tremendous value,” he said.

Arabian Gold has only had one foal to the track, a filly called Lakia (Redoute’s Choice) who has won for Waterhouse and Bott, and Watson feels the mare herself has tremendous potential in the breeding barn going forward.

“There is a lot of upside still to come for that mare,” he said.

The Chairman’s Sale will be held as a virtual sale on May 8, while the Australian Broodmare Sale will be conducted as a digital sale two days later.

Mill Park Stud has Ravenous Lass (Stratum) catalogued as Lot 20 in that sale. She is a five-time winning half-sister to Group 2 winner San Nicasio (Hard Spun {USA}) who has only had one foal to the track, the stakes-placed Zoushine (Zoustar), who was runner-up to Ecumenical in the recent Listed Dequetteville S.

Copy: Bren O’Brien, TDN Aus/NZ