Vinery Australia Gets First Group I Win

Tom Simon was present to see the southern chapter of his Vinery operation record its first group I success when the aptly named Bollinger led almost wire-to-wire to secure a clear-cut victory in the Coolmore Stakes (Aust-I).

Celebrations by Simon, his stud manager Peter Orton, and staff in the stands were drowned in a sea of them, Bollinger heavily supported to run a 9-4 public elect.

The Rosehill Gardens contest for distaffers on March 29 saw the Dehere filly pitted against her elders for the first time. At the end of the 1,500 meters $375,000 of the $500,000 (Australian funds) stake was added to Dehere's quest for a first sire championship.

He is currently vying for second with Danehill, that pair the best part of $1 million behind Northerly's sire Serheed.

Galapagos Girl (7-1) contributed $45,000 in finishing a splendid two lengths third. The Deheres were split by Lovely Jubly (15-1), the Lion Hunter daughter regaining the form she'd misplaced since posting two group I wins at two in her home state of Queensland.

Just three 3 year-old fillies lined up against 11 older females and finished one, two and seventh. The latter was Victory Vein, a dual group I winning filly by 11th-hour shuttler Mr. Henrysee. She loomed dangerously at the 200 meters marker but couldn't finish her race off.

Bollinger supplied the second Coolmore for Gai Waterhouse, the slate started by the previous 3 year-old winner Assertive Lass in 1997.

Even as Simon held the trophy aloft, there was some irony in the 31st edition as Coolmore shuttled Dehere before selling him to Japan in 1999 after just 17 covers. Rival outfit, Arrowfield, was able to secure a lease to add him to its roster last year and the Deputy Minister horse covered 100 mares. He is to return in August.

Bollinger's dam Bint Marscay was a $600,000 purchase by Lynden Burns, Tom Simon's Australian manager in the formative years of Vinery-Australia.

Bint Marscay won a Golden Slipper Stakes (Aust-I) for Sheikh Hamdan Al-Nahyan and has foaled three stakes winners. The Marscay 12 year-old has not produced a foal since Bollinger, missing to Red Ransom, Danehill, and Flying Spur.

She is currently at Vinery Kentucky waiting to visit farm stallion Brahms.

Chris Munce gained his 27th group I success in holding Bollinger back to Ancient Song early from the two gate. When Munce turned her loose near the 300 meters, the 3 year-old rocketed clear and was untroubled to win by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:29.55.