Turffontein has sired the winners of 6 stakes races this season and his first Group 1 is in sight with top-class filly Fontein Ruby.
Trainer Robert Smerdon is aiming Fontein Ruby for a Group 1 campaign in Adelaide after she grabbed a front-running victory in the LR Alexandra Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on Friday evening.
“That was a tough win,” Smerdon said. “I probably don’t give her enough credit but she just keeps fighting when she finds the front.”
Fontein Ruby (3f Turffontein – Charming Ruby by Rubiton) was a $50,000 buy from Blue Gum Farm at the 2013 Inglis Melbourne Premier yearling sale and Friday’s result increased her bank balance to $880,000 including $66,000 in bonuses courtesy of Super VOBIS.
Smerdon will send her across the border for the G3 Auraria Stakes (1800m) at Morphettville next month as a final lead-up to the G1 Australasian Oaks (2000m) on May 2.
The Turffontein filly returned to form at Moonee Valley – she had been placed in the G3 Kevin Hayes Stakes and G2 Angus Armanasco Stakes at Caulfield last month but was never in the call when last home in the G1 Australian Guineas on March 7.
“That effort looked disappointing on paper but she dropped back to her own sex in Listed company on Friday night,” Smerdon reasoned. “She deserves another crack in a Group 1.”
Fontein Ruby won at Sandown and Flemington last year and progressed to black-type victories in the G3 Norman Robinson Stakes and G2 Edward Manifold Stakes before failing to run out 2500 metres in the G1 VRC Oaks.
Turffontein sired her from an unraced half-sister to G2 Tristarc Stakes winner Infinite Grace. Second dam Infinite Charm (Tristino) is a half-sister to G1 Cox Plate hero Fields Of Omagh.
Blue Gum Farm stands Turffontein (Johannesburg) and he is currently in third spot on the Australian second-season sires’ premiership behind Medaglia d’Oro and I Am Invincible.