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Group 1 opportunity in mix for winning juveniles

4 min read
Next weekend’s G1 JJ Atkins could be an option for winning 2-year-olds Cape Breton (Vancouver) and Volcanic Rock (Hinchinbrook).

Cover image courtesy of Ashlea Brennan

A $600,000 Vancouver colt, Cape Breton has the distinction of being the most expensive yearling by the Golden Slipper-winning sire.

The Chris Waller-prepared juvenile was successful on debut at Canterbury Park last month and remained unbeaten following a victory at Rosehill in the Bowermans Commercial Furniture H. to set up a possible tilt at the G1 JJ Atkins S.

“The JJ Atkins is only seven days away, but Press Statement did pretty much the same thing. Whether we do that or not I’m not quite sure, obviously Chris will discuss that with the owners,” Waller’s Racing Manager, Charlie Duckworth, said.

History might be repeated as Press Statement won his first two appearances for Waller and claimed the JJ Atkins seven days after winning at Rosehill.

Cape Breton and his strapper | Image courtesy of Ashlea Brennan

Next Saturday’s Group 1 feature is also in the sights of the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained Volcanic Rock (Hinchinbrook), who dealt to his rivals in the Listed Authentic Security Phoenix S. at Eagle Farm.

Cape Breton opened a warm favourite, but the market went cold on him and he started second favourite.

“It was great to see him step up to the Saturday grade and get another strong win. He’s going to be a beautiful 3-year-old colt who we expect to be a Guineas-type horse,” Duckworth said.

“Obviously, he drifted in the betting and I'm not really sure why. The stable has been pretty positive since his last win to today and he ticked every box. He continues to improve and continues to raise the bar every time we raise the bar for him."

Rider Tommy Berry had Cape Breton travelling sweetly in third spot before challenging for the lead 300 metres from home and the 2-year-old drove strongly to the line.

“He (Cape Breton) gave me a really good feel from the time I got on him. He’s got such a relaxed nature and a lovely individual.” - Tommy Berry

“He’s got a lovely stride and I was very confident in the run. It was a bit like Overmann here a couple of weeks ago.

“I thought I had them covered quite quickly and he (Cape Breton) got lost a little bit in front and then went into another gear and won quite comfortably. He’s got a very bright future.”

MM graduate

Cape Breton was bought out of Willow Park Stud’s draft at last year’s Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale and is the first foal of Exclusive Lass (NZ) (Nicconi), who was successful in the Listed Rosemont Stud S.

Exclusive Lass is from the family of the two-time Group 1 winner and sire Xtravagant (NZ) and her Snitzel colt was sold to Tony Fung Investment at this year’s Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale for $750,000. Exclusive Lass is currently in foal to Capitalist.

Cape Breton is raced by a large syndicate that includes Coolmore, Sir Peter Vela, Woppitt Bloodstock, Peachester Lodge and Waller.

Cape Breton as a yearling

Hundred Proof (Into Mischief {USA}) showed commendable improvement to finish runner-up off the back of two unplaced efforts and Raging Bull (Bull Point) made a good first go of his debut by coming on late for third.

Rock enjoys the ride

Volcanic Rock took advantage of a gem of a ride from Craig Williams to assert his authority in the Phoenix S. at Eagle Farm and post the second win on his fledgling career.

He had been a debut winner at Canterbury Park and an unplaced effort in the R. Listed Inglis Nursery at Randwick in December saw him sent to the paddock.

Volcanic Rock showed the benefit of a break when he finished runner-up at Rosehill a fortnight ago and on Saturday he settled in third spot on the fence before Williams eased away from the rail before the turn.

The gelding forged to the front 400 metres from home and held the late challenge of Verbek (NZ) (Turn Me Loose {NZ}) at bay to win by 0.75l. Melody Belle’s (NZ) (Commands) half-brother Tutukaka (NZ) (Tavistock {NZ}) finished impressively from last to take third money.

Volcanic Rock was bought out of Bell River Thoroughbreds’ Inglis Classic Yearling Sale draft for $240,000 by the China Horse Club and Newgate. He is a half-brother to the G3 Kindergarten S. winner Furnaces (Exceed And Excel).

It is also the family of the multiple Group 1 winner Melito (Redoute’s Choice) and the dual Group 3 winner, G1 Blue Diamond S. runner-up and sire Pariah.

Volcanic Rock as a yearling

Volcanic Rock
Cape Breton
Vancouver
Chris Waller