Group I racing in Australia and New Zealand got under way for the 2014/15 season Aug. 30, with Dissident taking the Memsie Stakes at Caulfield and I Do landing the Makfi Challenge at Hastings.
Dissident scored an emphatic 2 1/4-length victory in the New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie and added a second group I win to his record.
The newly turned 4-year-old Sebring colt was taking on five other top-level winners in the field of 11 and proved much the best once into the straight, where he scooted clear to triumph with Ben Melham aboard.
Dissident was among the early front-runners for the 1,400-meter (about seven-furlong) contest along with Sweet Idea, Moment Of Change, and Messene, but had plenty of power in reserve when called upon. He covered the distance in 1:22.72 on turf rated as good.
Sweet Idea hung on for second, followed in by Puissance de Lune in third and Silent Achiever in fourth. Race favorite Boban finished fifth, while the well-fancied Moment Of Change faded to last.
Dissident is trained by Peter Moody, who owns him with a number of partners. He stamped himself as a horse to watch in the lead-up to the W. S. Cox Plate (Aus-I) in October. Moody said, however, that his runner must first show he can handle the 2,040 meters (about 1 1/4 miles) of Australia's premier weight-for-age test before he considers the race.
Winner of the Royal Randwick Guineas (Aus-I) at a mile March 15, Dissident dropped his next two starts to conclude the season, including a sixth in the Rosehill Guineas (Aus-I) going the Cox Plate distance March 29. With Saturday's win his overall record improves to 4-4-1 from 14 career starts.
Bred by Widden Stud Australia, Dissident is out of the stakes-placed Anabaa mare Diana's Secret. Moody bought the colt for $210,000 ($216,762 in United States funds) out of the Widden Stud consignment at the 2012 Magic Millions Gold Coast yearling sale.
In New Zealand, I Do proved to her connections that she is quite capable of competing in elite company in the Makfi Challenge, winning by a neck from Pussy O'Reilly, who led in the stretch but could not repel the winner.
Pure Champion finished three-quarters of a length back in third.
"She's now done what I didn't think she could earlier on—she's a bonny mare," said trainer Allan Sharrock, who bred 7-year-old I Do with co-owner Mark Chittick of Waikato Stud, speaking to New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing.
Jockey Opie Bosson positioned I Do behind the pace set by Recite before bursting between rivals for a breakthrough group I victory.
An honest and popular daughter of No Excuse Needed—Freequence, by O'Reilly, I Do has won 15 of career 34 starts and placed second or third 10 other times.
Final time for 1,400 meters (seven furlongs) was 1:24.08 on a dead track.