Monday 2 October 2023
SEA THE STARS supplied new Group 1 winners in both Australia and France on Saturday, as Just Fine took the Gr.1 Metropolitan at Randwick and Sea Silk Road won the Gr.1 Prix de Royallieu at ParisLongchamp.
Just Fine prevailed against Spirit Ridge in an epic finish to The Metropolitan to maintain his unbeaten record since arriving in Australia, breaking the course record for 2400m in the process. Aga Khan Studs graduate Kalapour finished in third.
“Hopefully, it’s a popular win, I’m glad we were able to deliver. It was a thrilling finish. I wasn’t sure we were going to get the upper hand. It was tough, well done to the horse,” said Adrian Bott, trainer of Just Fine jointly with Gai Waterhouse.
“I think we might have to [go to the Melbourne Cup], it’s hard to deny it after that. He just continues to improve and go the right way for us and he opened up more options for him today staying that trip.”
Just Fine, who was bred by Godolphin and previously raced in the colours of HM The King and HM The Queen, was the 20th individual Group 1 winner for SEA THE STARS, and the fifth out of a Kingmambo mare.
Later that day, Sea Silk Road became Group 1 winner number 21 with an impressive three-length victory in the Prix de Royallieu.
“[Owner] Mrs Tsui decided to keep her in training this year and she was right to do so as the filly is having a magnificent season,” said Maureen Haggas, wife of trainer Willliam Haggas. “Last year, she was still very immature, but she has made big strides forward this season. She has strengthened up, won a Group 3 race before being placed in a Group 1, and today she has won her Group 1. She really picked up at the finish, but has sometimes tended to prick her ears and idle once she hits the front. We’re going to discuss the next step together, but I suppose she could be retired to stud. You can’t improve on a Group 1 win. It’s very emotional because she was bought as a yearling by John Clarke, who passed away this year. This win is dedicated to his memory and we’re all very emotional.”
Sea Silk Road was the second consecutive winner of this race for SEA THE STARS, following the success last year of Sea La Rosa. Breeders Kildaragh Stud are consigning a full sister to the winner at this week’s Tattersalls October Yearling Sale.
Meanwhile, SIYOUNI also enjoyed success in Australia thanks to his flagbearer Amelia’s Jewel, who broke the track record at Moonee Valley on Friday evening with another thrilling performance in the Gr.2 Stocks Stakes. She will next head to the Gr.1 Toorak Handicap on 14th October, with the Golden Eagle or the Gr.1 Cox Plate under consideration after that.