Sale-Topper Gets First Win

Sale-topping yearling Eastern Cape (Fastnet Rock x Celebria) broke maidens at Geelong today, winning the A$17,500 GRC Function & Event Centre C,G&E Maiden Plate over 1300m for trainer David Hayes & Tom Dabernig.

The $1,975,000 Karaka Premier Sale graduate carried the famous navy blue silks of Coolmore to victory with Sir Peter Vela featuring in the ownership with Coolmore along with trainer David Hayes, John Camilleri’s Fairway Thoroughbreds, Ah Khing Teo & Edmond Lee.

Eastern Cape was having his fourth start coming off a last-start second also at Geelong and start as the hot race-favourite. The son of Fastnet Rock was placed on debut and ran in the Group 3 SA Sires’ Produce Stakes as a two-year-old.

Kiwi jockey Michael Walker was having his first ride on Eastern Cape and settled him behind the leaders from barrier two. Walker pulled the stout colt three-wide around the final turn but sat patiently, timing his run in the final 200m to perfection to grab victory by a neck.

The blinkers were swapped for a visor and that gear alternation may have been the key to Eastern Cape’s success with as stable representative Bruno Rouge-Serret explained.

“He’s been a bit colty, so we’ve tinkered with his gear a bit, but the more racing he does the better he will be,” said Rouge-Serret.

“That’s what we were hoping for today and now we can go on to better things.”

Bred by Fairway Thoroughbreds, Eastern Cape is by champion sire Fastnet Rock and is a half-brother to Group 1 winner Gathering (Tale of the Cat) and Group 3 winner Fontelina (Redoute’s Choice) being out of Celebria (Pentire Celebre). He is closely related to the famous Shantha’s Choice, the dam of Redoute’s Choice (Danehill), Platinum Scissors (Danehill) and Manhattan Rain (Encosta de Lago). Eastern Cape is also closely related to Group 1 winners Umatilla (Miswaki), Hurricane Sky (Star Watch) & Al Maher (Danehill), all have been successful sires.

With his stallion’s pedigree and an equally impressive physique, Eastern Cape attracted $1.975m at the 2013 Karaka Premier Sale, knocked down to Tom Magnier of Coolmore Stud from Gordon Cunningham’s Curraghmore Stud.