Grand Win for Grand Armee

Grand Armee collected his sixth Australian group I at Rosehill March 5 and Hennessy's fast-moving headliner has not won any of his 12 races (from 28 starts) easier.

The 6-year-old gave Danny Beasley a soft ride in winning the $400,000 (Australian funds) Rawson Stakes by 5 1/2 lengths from four outclassed rivals.

It was not just the margin the 1-3 favorite held over Vouvray and Hug's Dancer at the wire. In leading throughout, the Gai Waterhouse-trained gelding ran the 2,000 meters in 2:00.89 and his effort to clock 9/10s of a second outside a track record on damp surface thrilled his owner Alan Bell. The 102nd edition was 65/100ths outside the race mark, but still the fastest in six years.

Grand Armee has won more than $4.4 million and along with Elvstroem is currently the best middle distance horse in the land. His next target schedules a clash with Makybe Diva in the $2 million Tancred Stakes March 19. For him the 2,400 meters contains 400 meters of uncharted territory.

Hennessy shuttled between Coolmore's Ashford and its Australian base for five years from 1997, covering between 89-124 mares per season. The Storm Cat son has six Australian group winners to date.

Regal Roller, another southern marquee horse for his sire, Regal Classic, also went wire-to-wire to easily win the $400,000 Futurity Stakes (Aust-I) at Caulfield. With Mark Flaherty controlling the race, the 6-4 favorite arrived 2 1/4 lengths ahead of Super Elegant and Modem in 1:24.67 on a soggy turf track.

The best of five generations sired in Victoria, Regal Roller numbers three group Is in the 10 wins at his home oval, where the Brian Durran bred and raced chestnut is handled by Clinton King. The Roller's earnings stand at a few dollars shy of $1.4 million.

The Vice Regent 20-year-old is currently based in McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds in upstate New York. His fee cost is $10,000.