Stratum Mare Wins Grafton Cup

 In 2014

Tough Stratum mare Queenstown produced the stakes winning performance she’s always promised when easily winning the Listed Grafton Cup on Thursday for Star Thoroughbreds.

The consistent mare had previously been placed twice at Group II level and once at Group III, but it wasn’t until her 16th start that she landed the black type win.

After travelling just off the pace in a slowly run affair, rider Tim Clark had little cause for concern once he entered the straight with the duo racing away for a comfortable three length win.

“It got argy bargy there (leaving the straight the first time) but I didn’t want to be behind Noisy Ocean there, I wanted to hold Travolta’s back one off because I thought that he’d take me a long way, which he did,” said Clark.

“I pretty much followed Travolta everywhere he went and at the top of the straight when I exposed her she sprinted really well and it was a fantastic effort by the mare.”

A $60,000 purchase for Star Thoroughbreds from the Armidale Stud draft at the 2011 Magic Millions National Yearling Sale, Queenstown has the super consistent overall record of five wins and eight placings from her 16 starts with prizemoney well in excess of $400,000.

Bred in Tasmania by Armidale Stud, she is the second winner from Zabeel mare Regal Heights (NZ), who comes from the family of Group I winners Serious Speed and March Hare.

Queenstown becomes the 23rd stakes winner for Stratum who will stand the coming season at a fee of $38,500.