Group Double for Northern Meteor

 In 2015

Widden Stud’s sadly missed sire Northern Meteor put an early Group race double on the board at Randwick on Saturday with Metallic Crown landing the Group III ATC Ming Dynasty Quality and then Speak Fondly capturing the Group II ATC Furious Stakes.

A $190,000 Inglis Easter purchase for Ingham Racing from the draft of Luskin Park, the Chris Waller trained Metallic Crown was second at his first two starts before winning easily at Warwick Farm last month and continued his rapid rise with an impressive win at his first try in stakes company.

He led all the way for Jim Cassidy in the 1400 metre feature and showed plenty of grit to turn back all challengers and win by half a length.

Metallic Crown has now won two of four starts earning over $120,000 in prizemoney and is beginning to deliver on the potential he has always shown.

“The challengers came thick and fast, but over the last 50 metres he came away,” said Waller.

“I’m still working him out, but he’s done it at both ends and that’s normally a recipe for winning better races.”

Bred by Luskin Park and partners, Metallic Crown is the third winner for Pegasus Queen, a metropolitan winning daughter of Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus (USA) from the family of Champion Three Year Old McGinty.

Gooree Stud homebred Speak Fondly was brilliant when resuming from a spell to win the Group II ATC Silver Shadow Stakes two weeks ago and was even more impressive this time around.

She travelled just behind the leaders for Kerrin McEvoy and when given clear running dashed quickly to win the 1200 metre sprint by two and three-quarter lengths.

“She’s an absolutely outstanding filly,” said Gai Waterhouse.

“She’ll win the Flight Stakes (Group I). She’s the real deal.”

Asked about the possibility of running in next Saturday’s Group I ATC Golden Rose for which she is eligible, Waterhouse was non-committal as was Gooree Stud’s representative Monica Cummings, but it was a dominant win and the Golden Rose is worth $1million, so there is much to think about.

A half-sister to Group II winner Wild and Proud, Speak Fondly has won three of six starts earning over $360,000 in prizemoney and is the fifth winner from stakes-winning Flying Spur mare Blab, a half-sister to Group III winner Yammer from the family of Golden Slipper winner Bounding Away.

Metallic Crown and Speak Fondly are among 19 stakes-winners for Northern Meteor, who has a plethora of sire sons now at stud headed by his dual Group I winning son Zoustar, who has some stunning first foals this spring.