Group One Quinella for Northern Meteor
Brisbane – Northern Meteor has been riding the crest of a wave of success over the past two months and from his slew of smart metropolitan winners have emerged two genuine rising stars in Romantic Touch and Zoustar, who fought out the finish of the Group I BRC JJ Atkins Stakes at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
A homebred for Gooree Stud prepared by Gai Waterhouse, Romantic Touch was sent to Brisbane on the back of a facile seven and a half length win at Canterbury last month and despite facing a sharp rise in class he rose to the challenge.
Partnered by Nash Rawiller, Romantic Touch made full use of gate two to power through and lead, before defying all challengers to hold and beat the strong finishing last start stakes-winner Zoustar to win the 1600 metre feature by half a length.
“He’s a really nice horse and very athletic,” said Nash Rawiller.
“There were a few signs there that he might have had enough, so to do what he did shows what a good horse he is.
“These Northern Meteor’s are an unbelievable breed and so are the Sebring’s, but it was Northern Meteor’s day today.”
With Gai Waterhouse choosing to remain in Sydney, stable representative Bruce Slade was on hand to greet Romantic Touch as he came back to scale.
“”It’s such a special win after the last month Gai has had,” he said.
“Gai has always held him in high regard and he’s got better with every gallop and every race.
“At the top of the straight you think to yourself he’s a Gooree homebred trained by Gai, he’s not going to give in!.”
A big strong gelding, very typical of his female family which is noted for producing big horses, Romantic Touch is the second winner for Dearness, a metropolitan winning half-sister by Snippets to multiple Group I winner Desert War and Group I ATC Rosehill Guineas winner Laser Hawk.
Romantic Touch now has the overall record of three wins from five starts with prizemoney of $387,210 and has the honour of becoming the first Group I winner for Gooree Stud bred Northern Meteor.
“He’s a fourth generation Gooree homebred and we bred and raced his sire and his dam, so it’s a very special win for us,” said Andrew Baddock, representing Gooree Stud.
Gooree have a full yearling brother to Romantic Touch in the pipeline and Dearness was covered last spring by Northern Meteor’s close relation, the Group II winning Fastnet Rock sire Smart Missile.
Romantic Touch is the third stakes-winner for Northern Meteor (joining The Voice and Zoustar) and is one of his 14 first crop winners, the record breaking, Group I winning son of Encosta de Lago also represented by another Gai Waterhouse trained winner in Sydney in Northern Glory.
A $50,000 Magic Millions purchase for Gai Waterhouse and James Harron Bloodstock from the Royston Stud draft, Northern Glory won at Randwick over 1200 metres by a length and has now won two of four starts and $106,000 in prizemoney.