The Group 3 TBV Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes for two-year-old fillies is a time honoured race, first run in 1956 and won by horses such as Denise’s Joy, Rose of Kingston, Nediym’s Glow, Snitzerland and Shoals. However in its 57-year history (the race was not held during 1964-1970), Saturday’s edition was the first time a dead heat has been recorded.

In the 1200 metre sprint, the James Cummings trained Flit spent most of the race settled at the rear of the field until she snatched the lead from stablemate Varda at the 150 metre mark. But as the line loomed closer, so did Damien Oliver aboard Ready Set Sail and the two fillies hit the line in unison. Yu Long Investments’ race favourite Talented was three lengths behind in third.

“She’s a good filly and just jogged up to them,” said James about Flit. “The efforts of her to be on terms in a stakes race at this early stage of her career speaks volumes about what sort of future she has because she has an amazing amount of scope. We’ve got her in some (Sydney feature race) nominations. She’s immature though so we’ll wait to just see how she gets over this effort.”

Flit, a 2 year-old Medaglia D’Oro x Glissade (Redoute’s Choice) filly, was born and raised at Darley’s Northwood Park property in Seymour, Victoria. Finishing third in an 1100 metre maiden at Bendigo on 16th February, a Group win is not only an impressive way to knock off her maiden, she also one-ups her half-brother Flow, who placed in the Group 3 Sunshine Coast Guineas. With Medaglia D’Oro back in the USA, dam Glissade is currently in foal to Darley shuttle sire Frosted (USA), who stands at Darley Northwood when in the southern hemisphere.

Also giving an impressive and maiden breaking performance at just her second race start, Ready Set Sail gave her sire More Than Ready his 192nd individual Stakes winner.

“It’s better than running second,” said her trainer Mick Price after Saturday’s race. “It goes into the (stud)book for these fillies, that they win a Group 3.”

“She’s a nice filly and she can go out now on a bit of a high as she’s already a Stakes winner and I reckon she’s still a preparation away…she’ll be a beautiful spring three-year-old, but we’ll tip her out now. Job done.”

“It’s fantastic for Frosty,” continued Mick, referring to the filly’s owner and breeder, Bill Frost.

“He puts his heart and soul and money and family, and everything else, into the game. He’s ridden the ups and downs of the industry and he just keeps sticking. I’m very happy that he’s had another good win with one of his own well-bred fillies.”

Bill became involved in ownership and breeding around 18 years ago under his family’s Pendant Equine Syndicate banner. It is very much a family affair, with his wife Pat, daughter Cassandra and son-in-law Anthony also involved.

A Victorian homebred, Ready Set Sail is the fourth foal and fourth winner from dam Jolie Brise (Fastnet Rock). A half-sister to stakes winner Rutherford Eagle and daughter of Group 3 winner Vestey, Bill purchased Jolie Brise for $400,000 at the 2008 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale. She burst into the spring of 2009 winning three consecutive races before finishing fourth to Irish Lights in the Group 1 MRC Thousand Guineas. Jolie Brise has a weanling full brother to Ready Set Sail, and is currently in foal to Zoustar.

For all their efforts, the Frosts have been rewarded with good success both on the track and in the breeding barn. Zarita was a dual Group One and five-time Group Two winner whilst Ballet Society won four of her six starts at Group level. She then went on to become the grand dam of Listed winner Steal My Kisses, another filly bred and owned by Pendant Equine.

Keeping it in the family, the Frosts also raced the dam of Steal My Kisses, group three placegetter, The Fairy’s Kiss. After producing Butch Kissidy, a 5-time winner in Australia and Macau, as well as the maiden Abraded and Steal My Kisses, The Fairy’s Kiss was sold, whilst in foal to Smart Missile, at the 2017 Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale.

The resultant colt was sold to Ellerton Zahra Racing at the recent 2019 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale (lot 493).

With winners of the TBV Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes going on to win prestigious races such as the Champagne Stakes, VRC Oaks and Golden Slipper and also make names for themselves in the breeding barn, we’ll be watching with interest on where both Flit and Ready Set Sail proceed in their careers.

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