Reunited combination flying the local flag in feature

4 min read
A reuniting of a proven partnership is expected to enhance the prospects of the speedy mare Misty Metal (Oratorio) when she steps into unfamiliar territory in the G1 Crown Perth Winterbottom S. at Ascot.

Misty Metal will be ridden by her regular partner Shaun McGruddy in her first crack at the top level and he knows the 5-year-old backwards and forwards having been aboard her in six of her 10 career wins.

If she can succeed in the sternest test of her career, Misty Metal will also provide a local win through and through as she’s the only contender by a Western Australian-based stallion.

She’s a daughter of Mungrup Stud’s Oratorio, who in 2005 became the first son of Stravinsky (USA) to be retired to stud in Australia following a successful racing career.

Misty Metal

Trained by Lee Freedman, he won four of his 11 starts including two Listed events and the Magic Millions Adelaide Classic as a 2-year-old and the following season added the G3 CS Hayes S. to his record.

Misty Metal aside, his leading representatives have been the G2 Karrakatta Plate winners Motion Pictures, Lucky Street and Gold Rocks while Waratah’s Secret has been a multiple Group 3 winner. Oratorio has also been Western Australia’s champion sire of 2-year-olds on five occasions.

Jockey key to success

McGruddy’s return from injury to take the reins on Misty Metal, who has been out twice this season for a resuming second in the G3 Prince Of Wales S. and a most recent fifth in the G3 Colonel Reeves S., in which she hared off in front before wilting, is seen as a major plus.

“She gets her regular rider back on her with Shaun back from injury. We’re very happy to have him back on and he gets on with her best,” said Todd Harvey.

Shaun McGruddy aboard Misty Metal

A fourth generation trainer, Harvey operates in partnership with his father Robert after gaining his licence as a 20-year-old, the youngest in Perth at that time.

Misty Metal will provide him with a decent chance at saddling his first winner at racing’s highest level, but is mindful of the challenge that’s ahead of her.

“She loves Ascot and she’s a 98 rater so she certainly deserves her place in the field,” Harvey said.

“She loves Ascot and she’s a 98 rater so she certainly deserves her place in the field.” - Todd Harvey

“It’s a very strong field this year the Winterbottom, probably the strongest for a few years so she’s going to need every little bit of luck.

“She’s ready and it’s her third run in so she will be right at her peak. We’ve had this planned for a long time.

“Her last run was probably slightly disappointing. She went our pretty hard in front, about six lengths above average benchmark so we certainly won’t be riding her as keenly on Saturday, we’ll be trying to stack them up a bit.”

Todd and Robert Harvey

Raced and bred by long-time stable clients Lex and Shirley Piper, Misty Metal is a daughter of Rubitawny (Rubiton) and she is a half-sister to the G3 Maurice McCarten S. winner Kencella (Exceed And Excel).

Their dam Kentiara (Metal Storm {Fr}) won a brace of black type races and she’s a sister to Kalatiara.

“We trained Rubitawney for Lex and Shirley and she won three races from only nine starts. She had loads of ability, but she was unsound,” Harvey said.

“They’ve been with us for 25 years. We’ve had a lot of good horses for them over the years and won the G2 Western Australian Guineas with Kalatiara.”

“We’ve had a lot of good horses for them over the years and won the G2 Western Australian Guineas with Kalatiara.” – Todd Harvey

Misty Metal’s pedigree page also features the G1 Kingston Town Classic winner Arcadia Queen (Pierro), the G1 Railway S. winner Regal Power (Pierro) and a host of other Bob Peters-bred and raced Group winners.

Kalatiara furthered her racing career in the United States for Stonerside Stable and added the G3 Royal Heroine S. at Hollywood Park to her record.

Arcadia Queen

That venture gave Harvey the opportunity to broaden his experience as he accompanied the horse and spent six weeks with her new trainer Ron McAnally.

On his return, he took up a position as an assistant trainer with Mark Kavanagh in Melbourne for nine months, during which time Shocking (Street Cry {Ire}) won the G1 Melbourne Cup and subsequently Harvey returned home to resume his own training career.