Sum­mer Pas­sage fin­ishes Group One dou­ble

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place - DEN­NIS RYAN

‘‘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.

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