Victoria’s record priced yearling, the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace trained Octane, broke his maiden at Wangaratta on Monday demonstrating some of his class in doing so.
The Gilgai Farm bred 3YO colt, sold for a record $1.4 million at the 2017 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale, was having his second start and is now likely to be targeted towards black-type races.
Having been beaten when making his debut at Cranbourne earlier in the month on a heavy track, the I Am Invincible colt was tardy out of the barriers but weaved his way through the pack to win comfortably by two and three-quarter lengths.
“He found a way to win there. It was a race that didn’t go to plan, and he’s a horse that is still doing a bit wrong, but he’ll improve off today. Racing is only going to improve him again,” stable representative Toby Lake said post-race.
Naturally, Gilgai Farm manager Kelly Skillecorn was relieved to see the well-bred colt break his maiden…and advises that his dam Soorena is days away from foaling her latest foal.
“He (Octane) was a beauty as a foal as was the next. Soorena just throws beautiful horses,” Skillecorn said.
“The brother sold at Easter this year (for $1.4 million to Team Hawkes) is absolutely the real deal. As with Octane, Gilgai Farm has kept a share.
“Soorena is about to foal a Sebring any day…she’s been walking the box and is ready to go.”
Octane is the seventh foal from Soorena (Encosta De Lago) and the seventh winner. As well as Group 1 Newmarket Handicap winner The Quarterback, she has produced Group 2 winner and ATC Derby runner-up Philippi and stakes-placed The Rude Warrior.
Skillecorn said Soorena would be heading to Tylden to visit Written Tycoon at Woodside Park this season.
Notably, Gilgai Farm and Woodside recently acquired Spinning Jenny (Hard Spun), a stakes-winning half-sister to Soorena who just last week produced a lovely Written Tycoon colt for the partnership.
Note: On the same race card at Wangaratta, another Gilgai Farm graduate, the Anthony Freedman trained Evie Matilda (Artie Schiller), broke her maiden. The very lightly raced 5YO mare (it was just her fifth start) is out of Varevees, a British bred mare who was imported originally to race in the 2008 Melbourne Cup.