Red Ransom Off to Fast Start

Vinery stallion Red Ransom gained a fine start to the new Australian season with the stunning if narrow victory of his southern marquee son, Charge Forward, in the San Domenico (Aust-II) at Randwick Aug. 7.

Charge Forward arrived just in time to win the 1,000-meter event, named for a top sprinter of a half-century ago. His late charge under Darren Beadman saw him overhaul the Danehill colt, Fastnet Rock, to win by nose.

Dance Hero, last season's undisputed generation leader, was a farther half-length away in third in a major upset. The gelded son of Danzero was a 1-2 elect for the $150,000 (Australian funds) race for 3-year-olds, with Charge Forward a 4-1 chance. Dance Hero enabled Arrowfield's first-crop Danehill son Danzero to establish a record of over $3.6 million in taking the 2-year-old title by Australian earnings. The record had been held--at $3.4 million--by Danehill at the fifth of his six juvenile titles.

Within 14 fall days, Dance Hero ß collected the Golden Slipper, AJC Sires' Produce, and Champagne Stakes. all group I, and considered the junior triple crown - at 1,200, 1,400 and 1,600 meters. After his shock San Domenico defeat, trainer Gai Waterhouse said her change had probably been vulnerable at the campaign opener.

It is an ambitious one, taking in the Caulfield Guineas and W.S. Cox Plate, both Aust-I. The Guineas at 1,600 meters is also certain to be high on the agenda for the crews behind Charge Forward and Fastnet Rock.

Charge Forward had been closest to Dance Hero at the end of the Golden Slipper and spelled after his sixth in the Sires. His $600,000 from the Slipper and $856,000 overall from five juvenile starts greatly assisted Red Ransom to be the leading second crop sire (by Australian earnings). The Roberto son was also runner-up to Danzero on the 2 year-old list.

Red Ransom, who was produced from the Damascus mare Arabia, is about to start his sixth Australian season at Vinery's southern outpost. His season cost has risen 25 per cent to $60,000.