Stakes Breakthrough for Exceed And Excels Highland Beat
Mark Smith - Saturday, 8 July 2017

After previously placing four times in stakes races, Exceed And Excel colt Highland Beat, finally had his moment in the sun in Saturday's $120,000 Listed A.R. Creswick Series Final (1200m).

In a slogging finish down the straight, with six runners finishing within a length of the winner, Highland Beat did the best in the final stages under Beau Mertens to defeat by Hay Bale (Canford Cliffs) by a long neck with Ken's Dream a half-head away third

Trained by David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig, Highland Beat broke a run of outs stretching back to April last year.

The win brought up 70 metropolitan wins for Merten taking him to a lead of two over Craig Williams for the jockeys title in Melbourne.

"He's had an unlucky prep. With the gate and the draw we had we didn't get the cover we wanted, he was travelling so sweetly so I left him where he was and he quickened up nicely," Mertens said.

David Hayes said the 3yo son of Exceed and Excel was due for a change of luck.  

"I had a little query with him down the straight," Hayes said.

"I'm so relieved he can go down the straight it opens up so many races for him."

Well tested at two with nine starts, Highland Beat (pictured as a yearling) was having his eleventh start this term.

His overall record stands at 3 wins, 6 seconds and 1 third from 20 starts with earnings of $274,300

Bred by Glenlogan Park, Highland Beat was consigned to the 2015 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale where he was knocked down to Lindsay Park Bloodstock for $140,000.

He is the second foal of the stakes-placed Kyllachy mare Highland Daughter (IRE) who is a half-sister to Ryan, a versatile son of Epsom Derby winner Generous, who was crowned Horse Of The Year in Slovakia in 2006 and Champion Older Horse in Italy in 2008 and 2008.

Highland Daughter (IRE) has a 2yo colt by Snitzel that was sold to the Hong Kong Jockey Club for $150,000  at the 2016 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale and a yearling colt by Smart Missile who made $105,000 to the bid of Dynamic Syndications/Gai Waterhouse at this year's Gold Coast Sale.

After missing in 2015, Highland Daughter (IRE) was covered by Written Tycoon last spring.

Highland Beat becomes the134th stakes winner for Exceed And Excel who stands at Darley Stud, Aberdeen in 2017 at a fee of $110,000. 

Race 5 - A.R. Creswick Series Final
Listed - 1200m

Class: Open. Track: Good(3). Time: 1:10.22. Sectional Time: 0:33.39 at 600m.
Prizemoney: $120,000 - 1st: $72,000 2nd: $21,600 3rd: $10,800.
 1   Highland Beat T: D and B Hayes and T Dabernig J: Beau Mertens

3c   Exceed And Excel x Highland Daughter (IRE) (Kyllachy (GB) )
Not Offered
 2 0.4 Hay Bale T: R D Griffiths J: Ben Thompson
3g   Canford Cliffs (IRE) x La Lady (Estambul (ARG) )
Not Offered
 3 0.5 Ken's Dream T: D K Weir J: B Rawiller

3c   Dream Ahead (USA) x La Bella Rose (Shamardal (USA) )
Not Offered
 4 0.6 Mystified T: Ryan Balfour J: D Dunn
3f   Wanted x Ice Mist (USA) (Forest Danger (USA) )
 5 0.8 I'm Telling Ya T: Ms A Johnston J: N Callow
3g   Reward For Effort x Rapid Sensation (Success Express (USA) )
 6 0.9 Sacred Sham (NZ) T: D T O'Brien J: D Moor
3c   O'Reilly (NZ) x Mexican Rose (NZ) (Volksraad (GB) )
 7 3.2 Invincible Al T: Patrick Payne J: L Nolen
3g   I Am Invincible x Miss Alberta (Magic Albert )
 8 4.0 Liberty Song T: J F Moloney J: D Oliver
3c   Statue Of Liberty (USA) x Music In The Park (Bel Esprit )
 9 5.8 Overstep T: C J Waller J: C Newitt
3f   Exceed And Excel x Elusive Desire (Elusive Quality (USA) )
 10 11.1 Woomera T: Ms W Roche J: J Winks
3c   Smart Missile x Breaking News (Brief Truce (USA) )
 11 11.9 Fast Stryke T: R D Griffiths J: L Currie
3g   Stryker x Amaudru (King Charlemagne (USA) )
 12 12.4 Mistoffelees T: K J Bodey J: Jye McNeil
3g   Bushranger (IRE) x Jellylorum (Tale Of The Cat (USA) )
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