Another Stakes-Winner Sold by Widden
New Zealand’s prospects of defending its Group One two-year-old title at the Queensland winter carnival have been given a major boost.
Qiji Phoenix showed he was on target for the J.J. Atkins at Eagle Farm on June 10 when he romped home in Saturday’s Listed Diamond Lodge Champagne Stakes over 1600 metres at Ellerslie.
The Donna Logan and Chris Gibbs-trained youngster is unbeaten in three appearances and the Brisbane feature, won last year by the Tony Pike-trained Sacred Elixir and also by Darci Brahma in 2005, has long been on his radar.
“He’s the real deal and we were quietly confident with him today,” Logan said. “As long as he comes out of this race okay he’ll be going to Brisbane.”
Qiji Phoenix jumped well to race on the pace and he was coasting on the turn with rider Leith Innes afforded the luxury of looks to either side at the top of the straight.
“I said to Leith that he could lead or if something else wanted to then let them go and he rode the horse perfectly,” Logan said.
Qiji Phoenix ambled to the front soon after straightening and he cruised to the line to comfortably account for Weather With You and the central districts visitor Scott Base.
While he is primarily a sprinting-bred son of Not A Single Doubt, there are high hopes that Qiji Phoenix will next season develop into a classic contender.
“He’s a really relaxed horse – he could be a Derby type,” Logan said.
Qiji Phoenix was a $75,000 NZB Select Yearling Sale purchase from the draft of Phoenix Park and was a successful pinhook having been bought first from the Inglis Australian Weanling Sale for $57,500 from the Widden Stud draft.
Bred by Grant Briscoe, he is the first foal of minor winning Testa Rossa mare No Mistaking, whose dam is a sister to staying stakes-winner Sircarn Damon.
Widden Stud sold the current yearling from No Mistaking, a colt by Dundeel, for $65,000 at the Inglis Classic Yearling Sale to Anthony Freedman Racing.