We often speak of the ‘ups and downs’ of horse racing, but the Hesket Bloodstock team and leading jockey, Damian Lane, took it from the metaphorical to the literal in the space of 40 minutes at Flemington on Saturday.
Piloting Hesket homebred Limestone in the Group 2 Danehill Stakes, the 3YO filly clipped the heels of Booker in the final stages and fell … fortunately with no lingering injuries to either horse or jockey.
Dusting himself off, Lane then hopped aboard another Hesket homebred Sword of Light (New Approach) in the next race, the Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes over 1400m and, this time, managed to avoid any major interference, getting up in a thriller.
“She (Sword of Light) was game. We got across outside the lead really easy and she switched off well for me in the run. I thought she might have felt the pinch late, but to her credit she was tough,” Lane said.
An impressive 2YO who won by over five lengths on debut and followed up with a victory in the Group 3 Blue Diamond Preview, Sword of Light mixed her form in three further juvenile performances, while her 3YO spring included a third in the Group 2 Tranquil Star.
Sword of Light ended a 15-month winners’ circle drought in April with a victory in the $280,000 VOBIS Gold Reef at Caulfield in April.
Trained by Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra and bred and owned by Hesket Bloodstock, Sword of Light has now won five of 19 outings for $608,250 in stakes. This places her amongst her sire’s highest earning progeny worldwide which has also included Group 1 winner May’s Dream (bred by Horsham’s Dunn family).
“It was a rollercoaster day for us to be honest,” Hesket Bloodstock’s Jenny Moodie said.
“We were still reeling from Limestone’s fall by the time the Let’s Elope came around, but it was a top win by Sword of Light and terrific to see her notch up a second stakes victory.”
Originally breeding and racing their horses under the Contract Racing banner, David and Jenny Moodie formed Hesket Bloodstock with Ashley Hardwick in 2012 with the oldest ‘Heskets’ now 4YOs and include 2016/17 2YO stakes winner, Arctic Angel.
Sword of Light hails from the fourth generation of Moodie owned mares and is out of the King’s Best matron, Joyeuse. She was stakes placed in Sydney and is a daughter of Group winner Razor Blade, the dam of seven winners including stakes winners Flamberge (triple Group One winner), Sunburnt Land, Durendal and Curtana.
“Joyeuse has a 3YO filly, Kaiken, who is with Darren Weir, while her 2YO Exceed And Excel colt will be trained by Mat (Ellerton) and Simon (Zahra),” Moodie adds.
“She also has a smashing yearling filly by Written Tycoon, is in foal to Redoute’s Choice and has been booked to Fastnet Rock.”
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