“My biggest problem now is keeping the syndicate together, as they are being tempted with massive offers to sell him to stud farms,” she said. “But I have a clause in the contract saying no partner can sell unless all the others agree at a meeting. And I can tell you some of the offers are way past $15 million.”
That was April 24.
Three days later, the offers are now in excess of $25 million following Sebring’s runaway second group I victory in seven days.
He dominated the seven-furlong $400,000 Sires’ Produce Stakes at Royal Randwick in a manner that suggests he is the undisputed champion Australian 2-year-old male and a stallion prospect of the highest order. He’s by Vinery Stud’s star More Than Ready from a beautifully named mare Purespeed (by Flying Spur) and as a specimen, he is Brad Pittish. There isn’t a fault with him and he now has won five-from-five, earning $2,451,560 in stakes money.
Needless to say, connections are already looking at convening a round-table discussion over the new two weeks. “He has one more assignment yet, though,” quipped Martin. “We all agreed we would try and win the (juvenile) Triple Crown, and now he has won the first two legs, I can’t see us changing from that idea.”
At Randwick May 3, the third consecutive Saturday, Sebring will line up in the one-mile Champagne Stakes (Aust-I), and the way he is going at present, he looks incredibly hard to beat.
Nothing that finished behind him in the Sires’ Produce Stakes will beat him next week.
Sebring’s win was trainer Gai Waterhouse’s fifth success in the Sires, and it put Waterhouse on course to record her second 2-year-old Triple Crown after Dance Hero took all three classics in 2004.
For winning rider Blake Shinn, the win was a small but happy consolation for being forced to miss last Saturday’s Golden Slipper ride through suspension.
After the More Than Ready colt jumped smartly from the barriers, Shinn let him slide forward to face the breeze outside the early leader Love and Kisses (Encosta de Lago—Fair Embrace, by Strategic).
Upon topping the famous Randwick rise, Shinn let the $2.60 favorite have his head, and the race was over in a half-dozen strides.
Sebring maintained a one-length margin to the line ahead of the honest Samantha Miss (Redoute’s Choice—Milliyet, by Zabeel), who finished stoutly along the rails to grab second.
Love and Kisses $12 battled on fairly under Damien Oliver to hold on to third, a length behind the runner-up. The heavily-backed second-favorite and runner-up in last week’s Slipper, Von Costa De Hero, was ridden closer to the lead than in any of his previous starts and just plodded home when called on for his effort in the straight. He actually weakened to finish sixth in the field of 10. “He was three-wide the entire trip, but he just didn’t have the turn of foot on that ground today,” his rider Craig Williams explaining Von Costa De Hero’s defeat.
“Sebring” is the name of a Formula One racetrack—“we were looking for a good name for him, and since his mother is named Purespeed I thought that would be appropriate,” quipped Martin.
It certainly seems so.