Two horses part-owned by Tumut interests may be on a collision course in Saturday’s $500,000 Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington.
Eloping, part-owned by Maree McCormick, and Husson Eagle, in which Peter Webb has a share, have both nominated for the Derby Day race.
The two horses clashed less than a fortnight ago when Eloping led throughout to down the colts in winning the $250,000 Listed MRC Blue Saphire Stakes.
Husson Eagle finished an eye-catching third.
Trained by Peter Morgan and Craig Widdison, Eloping has won six times from 11 starts with prizemoney now topping $1million.
A $120,000 Magic Millions purchase from the Southern Cross Breeders draft for Dean Hawthorne Bloodstock, Eloping runs for a big syndicate of women, many of them first time owners, that have enjoyed a lot of bang for their buck.
One of the VRC’s oldest races, the Coolmore Stud Stakes was originally run as the Ascot Vale Stakes for two-year-olds from 1863,
Notable horses to have won the race recently include Weekend Hussler (2007), Northern Meteor (2008) and Sepoy (2012).
For Peter Webb, just to get a place in the Group 1 field would be an achievement.
Mr Webb has had a long-time association with Prime Thoroughbreds, which syndidated Husson Eagle.
He’s owned about 10 horses, and never had one race in a Group event
His best horse to date had been Stratum mare Rose of Scotland, now a six-year-old. Rose of Scotland has raced 31 times for five wins and three thirds, compiling prizemoney of close to $175,000.
“We’re going to have a throw at the stumps,” Mr Webb said, referring to the decision to take a tilt at the half a million dollar race.
“Just to have a runner would be exciting. We may be dreaming but I don’t mind where he finishes up, I’ll be there at Flemington with bells on if he gets a start.
“This type of opportunity doesn’t come along often.”
Husston Eagle had some excuses in the last-start third.
The horse played up at the barriers and bolted, in some ways running the race before the race, and was placed last on the turn.
With a customary trademark finish, Husson Eagle flew home for third, despite copping some interference.
The way Husson Eagle races requires some luck, but if the pace is solid Webb believes his horse can figure in the finish.
“It’s a pretty hot field … there’ll be some good horses in there, such as Eloping,” Mr Webb said. “But every time we’ve raised the bar for our horse he’s been up to the challenge.”
Husson Eagle, a three-year-old by Husson, out of a Royal Academy dam (Tie Me Up), raced four times as a two year old, for three seconds and a fourth.
This time in has included a first up win at Bendigo followed by the third behind Eloping.
“To get two horses with Tumut connections in a Group 1 – I’m not sure that would have happened before,” Mr Webb said.