Best On Breeding

Mark Smith - Thursday August 13

If you’ve been finding the barrier trials in Sydney more interesting than the racing of late, fear not, there is a whiff of spring in the air with three very interesting stakes races for the new season three-year-olds on Saturday.

Caufield sees the running of the Group III Vain Stakes (1100m) for colts and gelding while the fillies will contest the Group III Quezette Stakes (1100m).

Randwick is the venue for the running of the Group III Up And Coming Stakes a race that has a rich history with Exceed And Excel (2003), Fastnet Rock (2004) and Snitzel (2005) winning in successive years to add credence to the tag it is a stallion making race.

The Vain Stakes may have had the Up And Coming’s measure in recent years. Ironically, there have been winners by the Up And Coming Stakes notables Exceed And Excel, who sired last year’s winner Bivouac, while Snitzel has chipped in with the now Aquis Farm-based Jukebox and the wildly popular Newgate Farm-based Russian Revolution. Previous winners include Starspangedbanner and Sepoy.

Agreeable makes a winning debut (Reg Ryan/Racing Photos)

Not to be outdone the Quezette has thrown up Sunlight and Exhilarates in the last two years and that is the race where we will go shopping for some value on Saturday.

Our old friend Parlophone did the right thing by us at her most recent start in the Listed Lightning Stakes at Morphettville but there is no $16 available here. The daughter of I Am Invincible has been put up a short-priced favourite at $2.50.

So, we will put our faith in Anthony and Sam Freedman-trained Agreeable.

The daughter of Sebring was favoured to make a winning debut over 1140m at Geelong back on May 29. When she got her act together over the final 200 metres she powered home to win by two lengths.


by TJS Bloodstock, Agreeable descends from one of our favourite families that of Sovereign Edition’s sister Royal News (IRE).

Purchased by Dean Hawthorne Bloodstock for $125,000 on behalf of Jonathon Munz out of the Blue Gum Farm draft at the 2019 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale, Agreeable is the second foal and second winner out of the stakes-winning Husson (ARG) mare Affable.

Purchased by James Harron for $170,000 at the Patinack Farm dispersal in 2014, Affable was back in the sales ring again a year later where she made $30,000 more to the bid of Heritage Bloodstock when carrying a positive test to All Too Hard.

That proved a profitable decision when the All Too Hard colt, subsequently named Battle Cry, was knocked down to Byron Rodgers for $300,000 at the 2017 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.

Winner of the Listed VRC Gibson Carmichael Stakes, Affable is one of seven winners from as many to race out of the winning Redoute’s Choice mare Lady Gracious, which also included the multiple stakes-placed, half million-dollar earner, Gracious Prospect (Tale Of The Cat).

Agreeable was a $125,000 Inglis Premier Yearling

Lady Gracious was a $250,000 purchase by Anthony Cummings whose name has become synonymous with this family.

Cummings signed for seven yearlings out of Lady Gracious’ dam Spirit Of Grace (Dr Grace) who was herself a talented performer on the track when trained in Sydney by John Size.

The best of the seven was without a doubt the Group 1 MRC Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes and Group 1 MVRC William Reid Stakes winner Turffontein who has earned a loyal following at Blue Gum Farm.

Spirit Of Grace’s dam News Box (Bassenthwaite) is a half-sister to the Group 1 ARC Railway Handicap Alynda, the dam of stakes-winners Alinsky, Altrista, Capestad and Zalinda, and to the dam of the Group 1 Victoria Derby hero Hit The Roof.

Affable has a 2yo colt by I Am Invincible, which was purchased by Domeland for $290,000 out of the Mill Park Stud draft at the 2020 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale.

After missing to the Yarraman Park Stud stallion in 2018 she was covered by Trapeze Artist last spring.

Agreeable comes from the eighth crop of Widden stud’s much-missed Sebring whose penultimate crop hits the track this season.

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