powerful Godolphin team won the opening two races at Warwick Farm with two
impressive juvenile first starters by Lonhro and Medaglia D'Oro (USA).
Prepared by John O'Shea and sent out favourite, Lonhro filly Almanzora looked
very professional when jumping fast to take up a position outside the leader
for Brenton Avdulla.
She travelled strongly and when asked to go forward lengthened stride nicely to
surge clear and win the 1100 metre scamper by a length and a half.
Powering home for second was the fast finishing Pierro filly Aqua D'Ivina, who also
ran a terrific race on debut and is from former star mare Aqua D'Amore.
A Darley homebred, Almanzora is the first winner for stakes-winning Commands
mare Palomares, a three-quarter sister to Group I MRC Blue Diamond Stakes
Medaglia D'Oro (USA) colt Astoria won even more impressively than his stablemate.
He covered ground in the run for Tye Angland travelling three deep behind the leaders,
but made light work of the heavy ground when zooming clear to win the 1100
metre contest by more than three lengths.
"He's always been a nice colt," said Joh O'Shea.
"We had him ready for the early trials in the spring, but then he started
growing and kept growing, so we've given him the time to furnish his big frame."
In the immediate future there are minor Black Type races ahead for Astoria, but
long term plans are loftier.
"We're hoping he's a Guineas horse in the spring," said O'Shea.
"He has immense quality."
And so he should given his pedigree!
By the sire of Group I winning colts Vancouver and Astern, Astoria is the first
foal of Segue, a metro winning half-sister by Ad Valorem (USA) to Champion Two
and Three Year Old Colt Viscount from the Diamond Lover branch of the
illustrious Eight Carat (GB) family.
Segue is back in foal to Medaglia D'Oro, which might prove an astute move if
Astoria continues onwards and upwards.
Lonhro and Medaglia D'Oro have strong representation at the upcoming Inglis Australian
Easter Yearling Sale, the former with seven entries and the latter with 26.