Born A Warrior and Slipper-favourite Tassort highlight trials

5 min read

By Bren O'Brien

A superb trial from million-dollar colt Born A Warrior (I Am Invincible) and the winning return of G1 Golden Slipper S. favourite Tassort (Brazen Beau) highlighted a lively trial session at Rosehill on Monday.

Tassort has been favourite for the Golden Slipper ever since his effortless five-length debut win at Rosehill in November and James Cummings sent him out for the most serious hit out of his second campaign as he heads towards a return to the track in Saturday week's G2 Silver Slipper S.

Tassort looking imposing in his trial on Monday morning

He prevailed comfortably, having jumped well and sat just behind the pace, powering clear under James McDonald to win by 1.3l from the regally-bred Heart Breaker (I Am Invincible) with another four lengths back to the third horse, with the 895m covered in 55.79s.

Heart Breaker, trained by Peter and Paul Snowden, was having his first trial and is out of Belle Couture (Redoute's Choice), the half sister to Black Caviar and All Too Hard. Passed in for $850,000 as a yearling, he impressed enough to see his price for the Golden Slipper halve from $101 to $26.

Warrior shows blistering speed

One heat later, Born A Warrior, who was bought for $1.4m at last year's Easter Sale, romped to a 3.8l success at just his second trial, in a time of 53.99s, 1.8s - or approximately 11 lengths - quicker than Tassort.

Jumping to the front out of the barriers, Born A Warrior put on an impressive display of sustained speed, increasing his margin with every stride under Tommy Berry.

He is a half brother to G1 Newmarket Hcp, The Quarterback (Street Boss {USA}), out of Soorena (Encosta De Lago), who has also produced Group 2 winner Philippi (Host {Chi}) and four other winners including another $1.4 million colt in Born A Warrior's full brother Octane.

Another I Am Invincible colt, Covert Ops, then came out and ran just 0.01s slower than Born A Warrior in the final 2-year-old heat of the day.

The Gerald Ryan trained Covert Ops, who was second behind Dubious (Not A Single Doubt) in the G3 Breeders' Plate on debut back in September, jumped from a wide barrier, crossed to the front and was barely touched by Brett Prebble in another impressive display.

Covert Ops running second to Dubious in the Breeders' Plate

Bjorn Baker's Riverside Cash (Shooting To Win), who is yet to debut, was also good in second spot, with a big gap back to the rest of the field.

Covert Ops is the first foal from stakes-winning mare Fine Bubbles (Casino Prince), and was bred by Sun Stud, who bought the mare for $400,000 when she was in foal with this colt.

The quickest winner of the three 2-year-old fillies trials was also trained by Ryan in Villami (Foxwedge), who making her first public appearance, won in 55.14s.

She was a $420,000 buy at the Gold Coast Magic Millions Sale out of multiple stakes-winner Galapagos Girl (Dehere {USA}).

Baker's Bright Rubick (Rubick) won her trial in 55.39s, while the opening 2-year-old heat was taken out by Chris Waller's filly Starla (Snitzel) in 55.16s.

Zousain on track, Sun's colours lowered

Earlier, star 3-year-old colt Zousain (Zoustar) showed he remains on track for the G1 Newmarket Hcp on March 9, with a comfortable win in his second trial of the campaign.

The last start G1 Coolmore Stud S. runner-up had 0.3l of a length spare over stablemate I Am Serious (Choisir) in a 1000m course proper trial competed in 59.08s.

Fourth in the trial, beaten 3.4l, was G1 Caulfield Guineas winner The Autumn Sun (Redoute's Choice), also having his second trial of his preparation.

Trialling in blinkers, the star colt didn't display his customary turn of foot, but remains on track for a return to the races on February 23 in the G2 Hobartville S. at Rosehill.

The most impressive 3-year-old trial of the morning went to unbeaten colt Brutal (NZ) (O'Reilly {NZ}), who was scratched from the G3 Eskimo Prince S, on Saturday.

He powered over the top of Mansa Musa (Snitzel) late to win his 895m trial in 53.37, some 0.62s faster than any other 895m trial on the day.

Redzel on track

Dual-Everest winner Redzel (Snitzel) had a quiet time of his trial this morning, cruising along the fence to finish fourth

He will return in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes on March 10, before being set for his first Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes in April.

Triple Crown Syndications reported co-trainer Peter Snowden was happy with his effort. “He’s only had a soft trial today but I was happy with that, I thought he trialed nicely,” said Snowden. “He looks after himself and we’ll give him another trial to tune him up which will see him ready for his return in the Challenge Stakes.”

The Hawkes-trained mare Dyslexic (Foxwedge) was visually impressive winning the trial.