Summer Passage finishes Group One double
‘‘Blake was unsurprisingly able to tell connections that this was indeed a smart colt.’’
A carefully laid plan came off in spectacular style at last week’s Auckland Cup meeting when Summer Passage dispatched the country’s best two-year-olds in the Gr. 1 Sistema Stakes.
At Matamata three weeks earlier, the Lance O’Sullivan/ Andrew Scott-trained colt had confirmed his class with an impressive win in the Reid & Harrison Slipper, then came the big test at Ellerslie in the first race of the big autumn two-yearold double.
Summer Passage, who had cost his Hong Kong owner A$800,000 as a Sydney Easter Sale Yearling last April, wasn’t chasing only the $200,000 stake and Group One honours in the Sistema Stakes, but also an answer to whether he was worth a shot at similar honours at the Sydney autumn carnival.
For that reason an Australian jockey was booked for the Ellerslie ride, in the first instance Hong Kong-based Zac Purton but when the weather forced the big day to be postponed from Saturday to Thursday and upset travel plans, he was replaced by Blake Shinn.
After bringing Summer Passage home for a convincing win, Blake was unsurprisingly able to tell connections that this was indeed a smart colt, but the decision about whether to take on Australia’s best in the A$1 million ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes would depend on how he bounced through the race.
As this article went to press that decision had yet to be made, but either way his trainers can be well satisfied with a win to go with their Gr. 1 Livamol Classic victory by former Hong Kong gal- loper Willie Cazals, who races in the same ownership as Summer Passage.
Ellerslie last Thursday was also a landmark occasion for Rich Hill Stud stallion Pentire, whose four-year-old daughter Chenille won the day’s feature, the $500,000 Auckland Cup.
The Cambridge mare thus became the 15th Group One winner for her sire on a list headed by Melbourne Cup winner Prince Of Penzance and dual New Zealand Horse of the Year Mufhasa.
Summer Passage (Blake Shinn) completes a Group One double for trainers Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott in the Sistema Stakes at Ellerslie.