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High-priced Octane targets stakes races

3 min read

Having set the sales ring alight as a yearling, Octane (I Am Invincible {Aus}) is embarking on trying to do the same on the racetrack, winning his maiden impressively at Wangaratta on Monday.

Octane is the most expensive yearling ever sold in Victoria, smashing all the records at the 2017 Inglis Premier Sale where trainer Ciaron Maher parted with $1.4m for the half brother to G1 Newmarket H. winner The Quarterback (Street Boss {USA}).

Bred by Black Caviar's breeder Rick Jamieson, the colt immediately caught Maher's eye in the lead-up to the sale.

Octane (I Am Invincible - Soorena), pictured as a yearling

“I saw him up on the farm at Gilgai before the spring when I went up to look at all the horses with no catalogue. I thought then he was a lovely type and obviously he’s got a stallion’s pedigree, is a cracking type and I’ve loved the way he’s developed the past six months,” Maher said after buying the colt.

“He’s a great mover, got a great temperament. He’s got what it takes.” - Ciaron Maher

While Maher held hopes of him being a strong 2-year-old, he turned him out after a couple of jumpouts in January and has had to wait until three weeks ago at Cranbourne to debut.

Again, not all went to plan, as the talented but inexperienced colt over-raced and finished second.

On Monday at Wangaratta, the move to put blinkers on Octane proved the difference. He may have missed the start slightly, but moved his way through the field to win by 2.75l.

"He found a way to win there. It was a race that didn’t go to plan, and he's a horse that is still doing a bit wrong but he’ll improve off today. Racing is only going to improve him again," stable representative Toby Lake said afterwards.

"I don’t think he'll be out of place in a city race now. There's a nice race for him at Moonee Valley in a couple of weeks."

Lake revealed the stable had high expectations for Octane this campaign, expecting him to graduate to feature races.

"We'd like to see him progress into stakes races in the spring. He's obviously had a big purchase price and he's got a great pedigree behind him. We are hoping he can measure up to some good races in the spring," he said.

Octane is the seventh foal from Soorena (Encosta De Lago {Aus}) and the seventh winner. As well as The Quarterback, she has produced Group 2 winner Phillipi, who was runner-up in an ATC Derby, and stakes-placed The Rude Warrior.

His younger full brother also went for $1.4 million at this year's Sydney Easter Yearling Sales, purchased by John Hawkes.

Full brother to Octane, sold for $1.4m to Hawkes Racing at Inglis Easter 2018