Curraghmore graduate Long Leaf added a valuable black-type victory to his stallion credentials at just the second start of his career in the Merson Cooper Stakes at Sandown on Saturday.
Ridden by Kerrin McEvoy the two-year-old son of Fastnet Rock jumped well from the outside barrier, settling outside the leader Sanglier, before taking the lead at the 100m and staving off a determined effort by the favourite Ohood.
“This colt looks a beauty,” said Australian Hall of Fame trainer David Hayes. “We thought he might sit back and be swooping but when Oohood came up on the outside so quickly Kerrin hadn’t let go and he showed real determination.”
Long Leaf was purchased for $750,000 out of Curraghmore’s 2017 New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale by BBA Ireland for a Coolmore syndicate which includes Sir Peter Vela and he is likely to return to Auckland for the Karaka Million in January.
“We might look at a race like the Karaka Million,” said Hayes. “Up until today I didn’t think he was a Blue Diamond horse I thought he was more of a AJC sires horse so that might be the path we take.
“It’s fantastic to win black-type with him, he’s a valuable colt.”
Bred by Caradale Pty Ltd Long Leaf is out of the Stravinsky mare Frustrating, a daughter of the champion mare Parfore and in turn a sister of stakes winners Super Easy, Terravista, Tiger Tees, Ball of Mucsle and Our Lukas.