Seabrook sails into uncharted waters

6 min read
Searching for a second Group 1, Seabrook will fly the flag for BlueBlood Thoroughbreds in the Vinery Stud S. at Rosehill on Saturday.

Group 1-winning filly Seabrook (NZ) (Hinchinbrook) steps into unfamiliar territory on Saturday out to the 2000m of the G1 Vinery Stud S. but the expectations of her owners are that she will handle the challenge with aplomb.

Seabrook, a winner of the G1 Champagne S. over 1600m at Randwick this time last year, has never stretched out beyond the mile in her 13-start career. But her trainer Mick Price, who won this race 12 months ago with Hiyaam (High Chaparral {Ire}), has targeted her at the Vinery third-up.

Seabrook's sire Hinchinbrook has not had a stakes winner beyond 1600m, while his progeny have only ever won four races over 2000m or further, but BlueBlood Thoroughbred's racing manager David Mourad is confident she will handle the distance rise.

Racing manager of BlueBlood Thoroughbreds, David Mourad

"The expectations are that we think she'll run the trip. While we don’t know for certain how she’ll handle it, all the signs are there that she will. Obviously not the Hinchinbrook side necessarily, but being out of a Don Eduardo mare and the way she has won over the mile in the past, we think she’ll get it," he told TDN AusNZ.

"While we don’t know for certain how she’ll handle it, all the signs are there that she will." - David Mourad

Seabrook is out of the unraced Midnight Revels (NZ) (Don Eduardo {NZ)), a half-sister to My Emotion (NZ) (Savabeel), who won a G2 Moonee Valley Fillies Classic over 1600m and ran sixth in a G1 Schweppes Oaks over 2000m. Seabrook's broodmare sire, Don Eduardo was a G1 Australian Derby winner who has produced a host of stakes winners at 2000m and beyond.

Mourad said Price has taken a very deliberate approach to pushing Seabrook out in distance, stepping her through the G1 Surround S. over 1400m first-up to the G2 Phar Lap S. over 1500m where on a heavy track she split two of the other key chances on Saturday, Verry Elleegant (NZ) (Zed {NZ}) and Aristia (Lonhro).

"Her last start was very good, she was just beaten by a very smart filly. Saturday we expect her to run really well again. She has drawn a bit awkwardly and we don't want to get too far back. If she can settle somewhere midfield that would be good," Mourad said.

It's a similar path Price took with Hiyaam last year. That filly finished third in the Phar Lap before winning the Vinery. There was never any query over Hiyaam's staying credentials, but with Seabrook in uncharted territory, Price has opted to remove the blinkers.

Trainer Mick Price

"It’s just to get her to settle and allow her to finish off the 2000m. If she can run the trip and run up to her best, she should be in the finish again," Mourad said.

"Mick always had this in the back of his mind to get her over this trip and see how we go with it. It's a good time to find out about it in her 3-year-old year. We should know on Saturday if she gets it and if she does, there are more options there."

"She's a different horse than what she was 12 months ago." - David Mourad

Certainly on her physical development, Mourad feels she has taken the improvement to handle the task.

"She's a different horse than what she was 12 months ago. I saw her last start and she's certainly bigger and stronger. She carries a lot more condition. She was certainly a smaller, more fragile filly early days, but nowadays, while you wouldn't say she was huge, she's much stronger this time in."

Little brother a 'steal'

BlueBlood, which paid $85,000 for Seabrook as a yearling, recently picked up her younger half brother by Proisir for $80,000 at the Melbourne Premier Sale, a price Mourad describes as a 'steal'.

"We had a bit more for him and we went up to certain figure and he passed in," he said. "Two lots later we bought a filly and we had only intended to buy one at the sale, so we let it sit."

Proisir x Midnight Revels (NZ)

"Then we had a phone call from one of the bloodstock agents saying that they don't want to take the horse back to New Zealand, and they'd consider an offer. We stuck our neck out and gave them a low-ball offer of $80,000 and to our surprise they accepted it. I think we stole him at that price," he said.

It certainly appeared that way given he had been passed shortly before at $150,000, with BlueBlood bowing out of the bidding when he reached $130,000.

"Mick (Price) couldn't believe we got him at that price and he rang (director) Carol (Walsh) afterwards and said he liked the horse too. He's not one to buy a half relation for the sake of it. He couldn't believe that's we got him for," he said.

"We don't like putting expectations on them but if he can go near the heights she did that would be fantastic." - David Mourad

Mourad said the colt, which he described as a nice style of horse in his own right, would be broken in in the coming weeks and go through the processes of pre-training before eventually joining Price's stables.

"We don't like putting expectations on them but if he can go near the heights she did that would be fantastic, especially being the colt with the pedigree there. If he can get a bit of black type about him, then you can consider a career at stud."


Improvement expected in Emancipation

BlueBlood Thoroughbreds also have G2 Brisbane Cup winning mare Sedanzer (Sebring) running in the G2 Jim Beam Emancipation S. on Saturday for Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott.

Boasting a second-up record of four wins from five starts, the 5-year-old should take considerable improvement from her first-up eighth in the Listed Wenona Girl S.

"She's had a good trial since and second up her record is very good. Stepping up to 1500m is very suitable," Mourad said.

"Obviously Alizee (Sepoy) is going to be very tough to beat, but we expect her to bounce back to the form and put in a good effort and if she does, she'd be somewhere in the finish."

Sedanzer holds a nomination for the G1 Coolmore Legacy S. during The Championships, along with Seabrook.