A good morning for Corumbene at Randwick trials

Randwick hosted a full card of trials on Tuesday morning and, with four open heats for the 2-year-olds, there was plenty to look at.

The first obvious highlight came early in Heat 4, with the Snowden-trained Empire Of Japan (Snitzel) reuniting with jet-set James McDonald for a comfortable win over 1050 metres on the turf.

The pair jumped smartly and took a sit off the speed in the early stages, allowing Zenmaster (American Pharoah {USA}) to bowl along in the lead with stablemate Cha Cha Cha (Churchill {Ire}). At the home turn, Empire Of Japan eased out and was untroubled to the post, winning by 1.16l to Queen Of Dragons (Pierro) and Zenmaster.

It was a good hitout for Empire Of Japan, who currently heads the betting market for the $2 million R. Listed Magic Millions 2YO Classic next month.

The colt, raced by the Newgate-China Horse Club consortium with a number of prolific names, has had just one start to date, but it was a win on debut in the G3 Breeders’ Plate at Randwick on October 1.

Tuesday’s trial win was a good start to the morning for the colt’s breeder, Corumbene Stud, who sold him at this year’s Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale for $680,000. He is from the General Nediym mare Ichihara, who was a Group 2 and multiple Listed winner and who is also a full sister to the dam of Corumbene’s resident stallion, Menari.

“It was a lovely trial,” said George Altomonte, co-studmaster of Corumbene Stud. “We bred this horse and sold him up at the Magic Millions, and he is a very nice horse. He’s out of a very good mare of mine and he was just a nice yearling all the way through.”

To date, Empire Of Japan has done very little wrong for Peter and Paul Snowden.

“We bred this horse (Empire Of Japan) and sold him up at the Magic Millions, and he is a very nice horse. He’s out of a very good mare (Ichihara) of mine and he was just a nice yearling all the way through.” – George Altomonte

He was second in his trial debut before the Breeders’ Plate, and has since been second and first in two subsequent trials. It’s early days to draw comparisons with Capitalist, but both horses had a similar trajectory at this point of their careers.

“This colt has done very well up to now,” Altomonte said. “He’s one of the favourites for the Magic Millions race at this point and I think he’ll go really well, if I’m honest.”

For Altomonte, Empire Of Japan was one of two Randwick highlights on Tuesday morning.

In Heat 12, the 2-year-old filly Kitty Chat was a trial winner for her sire, Menari. Earlier this year, it was announced by Corumbene that the embattled Menari, who has had consistent fertility issues, would stand at the farm alongside Standout. It followed a two-decade hiatus from Corumbene standing sires.

On Tuesday, Kitty Chat poked her sire’s trademark white face in front for trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, zipping through the 740-metre open heat in 43.09s, the fasted of the 740-metre juvenile heats. Ridden by Rachel King, she was a 1.19l winner to stablemate Red Resistance (Russian Revolution), with the Lonhro filly Pretty Rho back to third.

“It was a good morning,” Altomonte admitted. “That Kitty Chat looks like a nice filly, which is good for Menari. He’s obviously standing with us now but his fertility isn’t that good. There’s always been problems with it all the way through, which is very unfortunate but that’s the way it goes.”

Menari was bred by Corumbene and he’s been at stud since 2018, covering modest numbers in the face of his subfertility. With careful management, Altomonte believes he is capable of siring sharp horses like Kitty Chat, who emerged from her sire’s 2020 crop of just 24 foals.

Kitty Chat is the second foal from the Medaglia D’Oro (USA) mare La Chatte, herself a daughter of the stakes winner Chinchilla (Exceed And Excel), and the chestnut filly was consigned by Noogee Park to the 2022 Inglis Classic Sale. She sold to Waterhouse, Bott and Kestrel Thoroughbreds right off the bat as Lot 1 for $125,000.

“It’s a real pity that we can’t get more of Menari’s progeny on the ground,” Altomonte said. “I think he’s capable of getting really nice horses.”

Repeat business

The remaining two juvenile trials on Tuesday morning presented a treble for Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, and a double for China Horse Club.

Off the back of the exciting Empire Of Japan, the latter had the 2-year-old colt Marching (Russian Revolution) lead home Heat 13 ahead of stablemates Just Glamourous (Justify {USA}) and Stand Aside (Capitalist). Marching is raced in the China Horse Club-Newgate colours and trained at Tulloch Lodge.

Like Empire Of Japan, he was on the China Horse Club shopping list at the 2022 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.

Consigned by Highgrove Stud, he was bought in partnership with Newgate and Trilogy Racing for $525,000. His dam, Fast Return (Fastnet Rock), is a half-sister to the Group 3 winner Attention (Stratum).

Meanwhile, the Waterhouse/Bott trial results included The Instructor (Russian Revolution) in Heat 11. The 2-year-old colt is raced in the colours of First Light Racing and he won his 740-metre event in 43.65s.

The Instructor is yet to debut in race conditions, as are Kitty Chat and Marching, and he was a $230,000 buy for First Light, Waterhouse and Bott at the 2022 Magic Millions Gold Coast March Yearling Sale.

Consigned by Lyndhurst Stud Farm, he is from the Denman mare Right Of Way, who has plenty of quick American black type through the Dynaformer (USA) mare Feathers Of Hope (USA).

Cover image courtesy of Ashlea Brennan
Original Article: https://www.tdnausnz.com.au/edition/2022-12-14/a-good-morning-for-corumbene-at-randwick-trials
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