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Coolmore Dominates at Flemington

Melbourne Cup week proved a bonanza for Hunter Valley stud Coolmore with stallions either standing, or that formerly stood, at the Jerry’s Plains based operation winning 10 black type events over the four days including a quintet of Gr.1 successes.

The late High Chaparral led the way siring the Victoria Derby – Melbourne Cup double with the impressive Ace High winning the Classic despite plenty going wrong in the run, and the Fethard conceived Rekindling outgunning another County Tipperary product in Galileo’s Johannes Vermeer to take the Cup. And Cismontaine added to the son of Sadler’s Wells’ Stakes haul with a battling win in the Lexus Hotham Handicap on the opening day.

Ace High’s victory was just one of three at Gr.1 level on Derby day for Coolmore sires. It was apt that their stalwart Fastnet Rock would supply the winner of the Ascot Vale Stakes, rebranded the Coolmore Stakes, in the shape of exciting young colt Merchant Navy. Later in the day his three-year-old daughter Shoals would defy the older mares in the Gr.1 Myer Classic, formerly the Empire Rose Stakes, with a daring front running display. Fastnet Tempest, the result of a mating when on reverse shuttle duty, gave Fastnet Rock another Stakes winner when scoring in Listed company on the final day.

And then there was their young stallion Pierro whose progeny have come to the fore as three-year-olds. The first crop of the Golden Slipper winner book ended the carnival with his sons Levendi winning the opening Gr.3 Carbine Club Stakes and the lightly raced Kentucky Breeze landing the Listed event that closed the show seven days later. However, in between was probably the run of the week, the Gr.1 VRC Oaks win of Pierro’s daughter Pinot who dominated her rivals despite missing the start badly.

And let’s not forget the evergreen Choisir whose daughter Setsuna opened Cup day with a sizzling win in the Gr.3 Ottawa Stakes and looks Golden Slipper bound.