Zed's Irish Flame All Courage in Ballarat Cup

Mark Smith - Saturday November 21

Verry Elleegant has been flying the flag in Australia for New Zealand-based stallion Zed, but she has an able backup in the tough-as-teak gelding Irish Flame who overcame a wide run to do best in a thrilling finish to Saturday's $500,000 Listed Sportsbet Ballarat Cup (2000m).

What a Thriller Irish Flame (quartered cap) pokes his head down in time (Pat Scala/Racing Photos)

Three-wide the trip from an outside barrier under Michael Walker, the Brett Scott-trained 6yo gelding kept lifting to defeat the local heroine Affair to Remember by half-head. The daughter of Toronado (IRE) also had little luck. Under hard riding by Mark Zahra 800 metres out, Affair to Remember had a troubled passage in the straight. The 4yo Fastnet Rock gelding Game Keeper was a half-head back in third ahead of Harlem (GB).

Irish Flame only gained a start in the race when Power Scheme was scratched on Friday.

A Group III winner at two when trained in New Zealand by John Wheeler, Irish Flame has reeled off three consecutive wins to advance his record to nine four four from 39 starts with earnings of $685,352.

"He didn't get any favours in the run, and it was a good solid tempo. He was three deep without cover for the trip," Scott said.

"He came off the bridle before the corner, and I thought we might be in a bit of trouble but gee he hung tough.

"Johnny Wheeler had him in New Zealand right from a yearling, and he is the only Zed to win a stakes race at two at his second start.

"Every start he has had in Melbourne has been good. He has improved with every run and is just a good, tough stayer."

Irish Flame with Brett and Kylie Scott (Natasha Morello/Racing Photos)

Despite his tough run, Michael Walker said he thought the son of Zed was going to win easily.

"I had a wide run, but Kylie and Brett Scott have done a tremendous job having that horse fit today. A couple of times I rode him, it's been taking us a while to get the hang of him,” Walker said.

"He got the front and he was going to win by three, but he pulls up when he hits the front, but I was lucky that they got to me a long way before the post and he kicked again.

That's what it means for Kylie Scott to win a half million dollar race (Natasha Morello/Racing Photos)

"The horse had a hard run, but I wasn't worried because they only went steady so I was happy where I was.”

A half-brother to stakes-placed Langridge Street (Elvstroem), Irish Flame is the best of three winners from seven to race out of the Thunder Gulch (IRE) mare Fleur De L'Orient.

A sister to Group 1 AJC Australasian Oaks winner Tully Thunder and a half-sister to Listed winner Sufficient (Zabeel), Fleur De L'Orient is out of the Group II winning Centaine mare Fleur De Chine who is setting up a dynasty of her own.

Fleur De Chine's daughters have produced the ATC Australian Derby winner Lavendi, the Group II VRC Wakeful Stakes winner thunder Lady, the Group III winners Wu Gok and Marcel From Madrid and the stakes winner and Group 1 placed Zamzan.

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Race Result - Sportsbet Ballarat Cup LR 2000m

Ballarat Track: Good(4) Time: 2:02.79
Irish Flame
T: Brett Scott J: M J Walker 56
6g Zed (NZ) x Fleur De L'orient (NZ) (Thunder Gulch (USA))
Affair To Remember
T: Dan O'Sullivan J: M Zahra 56
4m Toronado (IRE) x St Trinians (AUS) (Black Hawk (GB))
Game Keeper
T: T & C McEvoy J: L Currie 56
4g Fastnet Rock (AUS) x My Tusker (NZ) (Volksraad (GB))
Fastnet Rock
MM Gold Coast Yearling Sale $175,000
V:Coolmore Stud Jerry's Plains NSW
B: McEvoy Mitchell Racing P/L
T: T Dabernig & B Hayes J: Craig Williams 61.5
9g Champs Elysees (GB) x Casual (GB) (Nayef (USA))
T: M Ellerton & S Zahra J: D Moor 56
7g Zacinto (GB) x Theatre Buff (USA) (Theatrical (IRE))
NZB Select Yearling Sale $77,500
V:Valachi Downs
B: APS Racing
Double You Tee
T: Patrick Payne J: W Egan 56
6g Written Tycoon (AUS) x Kandy Korn (AUS) (Flying Spur (AUS))
MM Tasmanian Yearling Sale $115,000
V:Armidale Stud Carrick Tas
B: John Blacker
T: Maddie Raymond J: D Yendall 59
8g Paco Boy (IRE) x Dont Dili Dali (GB) (Dansili (GB))
T: C Maher & D Eustace J: K Mc Evoy 60
5g Reset (AUS) x Palatine Hill (AUS) (Palace Music (USA))
Plein Ciel
T: D T O'Brien J: J Mott 56.5
8g Mamool (IRE) x Picobella (GER) (Big Shuffle (USA))
So Si Bon
T: T Dabernig & B Hayes J: Damian Lane 62
7g So You Think (NZ) x Black Minx (NZ) (Lonhro (AUS))
Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale $250,000
V:Newgate Farm, Aberdeen
B: R Laing
T: Archie Alexander J: John Allen 59.5
7g Reset (AUS) x Single View (AUS) (Danehill Dancer (IRE))
Al Galayel
T: C Maher & D Eustace J: B Melham 59.5
7g Zoffany (IRE) x Glympse (IRE) (Spectrum (IRE))
Kings Will Dream
T: C J Waller J: M Rodd 61.5
7g Casamento (IRE) x Road Harbour (USA) (Rodrigo De Triano (USA))
T: T Dabernig & B Hayes J: L Nolen 56
6g Camelot (GB) x Acquainted (GB) (Shamardal (USA))
T: T Busuttin & N Young J: D W Stackhouse 57.5
7g Fastnet Rock (AUS) x Ideal (GB) (Galileo (IRE))
Our Big Mike
T: Brett Scott J: Jordan Childs 56
8g Don Eduardo (NZ) x Landvetter (NZ) (Felix The Cat (USA))
Stallion Parade
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