Italy sent Godolphin’s two year-old tally into double figures this season with a front-running victory at Canterbury on Wednesday.
Sheikh Mohammed’s homebred filly won the TAB Rewards Hcp (1100m) by a half-length and will now be given the chance to earn black-type in the G2 Sweet Embrace Stakes at Warwick Farm on February 28.
“I’ve always quite liked her and it’s good to see her on the board,” trainer John O’Shea said. “James (McDonald) reckoned she did it nicely and will appreciate further than 1100m.”
Italy (2f Domesday – Retail Therapy by Flying Spur) comes from Hunter Valley royalty going back to the 1960s. Her family first came to prominence carrying Jack and Bob Ingham’s brown and yellow hooped colours – well before they were superseded by those famous cerise silks.
Her fourth dam Anjudy (Wilkes) won the 1972 Champagne Stakes at Randwick and she foaled 1981 Todman Slipper winner Crown Jester who, in turn, sired Golden Slipper winners Rory’s Jester (1985) and Guineas (1997).
Godolphin has raced 10 winners in two year-old company this season and they dominate Australia’s juvenile landscape. Of the leading 10 horses in pre-post markets for the G1 Golden Slipper, 8 are by Darley stallions.
Italy is still a $101 long-shot to land the $3.50 million purse on March 21. Her sire Domesday stands at Darley’s Victorian base in Seymour and he was represented by another promising winner last week when Profit Share flew home in the Super VOBIS 3YO Plate (1300m) at Sandown.
Premier trainer Darren Weir said Profit Share will concentrate on the Super VOBIS series instead of a black-type campaign this season. “That’s more his go than the Australian Guineas.” Weir said. “It worked with Trust In A Gust and he went on to win Group 1 races as a four year-old.”
Profit Share (3g Domesday – Hemingway Rules by Hemingway) is owned by the Parker family from Colac and he has earned over $223,000 since Musk Creek Farm sold him for $22,000 at the 2013 Inglis Autumn yearling sale.
His dam is a half-sister to Man Of Illusion who was a open-class sprinter in Brisbane before transferring to the USA where he won a Group 3 at Churchill Downs.
TAB BETTING: 2015 GOLDEN SLIPPER STAKES
$6 Vancouver (Medaglia D’oro / Darley)
$8 Furnaces (Exceed And Excel / Darley), Ottoman (Exceed And Excel / Darley)
$11 Fontiton (Turffontein / Blue Gum), Paceman (Duporth / Kitchwin Hills)
$15 Calaverite (Lonhro / Darley), Haptic (Exceed And Excel / Darley), Headwater (Exceed And Excel / Darley) Holler, (Commands / Darley), Mogador (Lonhro / Darley).