Belated Stakes Success for Washington Heights

Mark Smith - Saturday September 23

Displaying an electric turn of foot, striking Commands gelding Washington Heights came from last on the turn for a belated first stakes success in Saturday's $200,000 Group II Schweppes Shannon Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens.

With Kerrin McEvoy in the saddle, Washington Heights was eased back to last in the early stages as Imposing Lass led them along at a sensible pace.

With his main danger Dawn Wall giving him a cart into the race, Washington Heights was eased to the centre of the track to mount a challenge, quickly picking them off one by one before getting the better of a resurgent Mighty Lucky by half a length with Imposing Lass hanging on for third a further two and a quarter lengths back.  (photos Steve Hart).

"He's had his issues and there were doubts about him running 1500m but I had no doubts about him," Ryan said.

The Shannon Stakes is a win and you're in for next Saturday's $1 million Group I Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick, although Ryan said he was a doubtful starter.

"The plan was to have four runs this preparation and then see, I am not going to make a raceday decision on him," Ryan said.

"I don't want to take him to Melbourne, the tracks are too hard. I just want to stay here and give him a break and get him ready for the autumn or if he does pull up well think about backing him up."

Highly regarded by the Ryan yard, Washington Heights finished second to future Group I Group I winner Hallowed Crown in the Group III Kindergarten Stakes at his only start at two.

He lost no friends when second to Nostradamus in the Group III San Domenico Stakes at three before losing form.

Washington Heights was sent to Hong Kong where he won two of his four starts at four before being sent back to Ryan to win his only start at Rosehill at five.

After a battling fourth at Rosehill to kick-start his six-year-old season, the son of Commands scored a brave win at Randwick at his most recent start.

A $300,000 purchase by David Raphael from the Widden draft at the 2013 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling sale, Washington Heights becomes the fourth stakes winner for the over-achieving Octagonal mare Demanding.

A half-sister to multiple stakes winner Victory Dash out of a half-sister to Golden Slipper winner Tierce, Demanding's previous stakes winners were Spacecraft Galileo), Phenomenons (Giant's Causeway) and Supply And Demand (Sebring).

David Raphael outlaid $60,000 for Widden Stud's Epaulette colt out of Demanding at the Inglis Classic Sale in January.

After missing to Wandjina in 2015, Demanding was covered by Real Impact (JPN) last spring.

Washing Heights becomes the 76th stakes winner for Darley Stud's deceased stallion Commands. 

More Reading...
Promising New Stakes-Winner for Fiorente
Group I ATC Australian Derby winner Explosive Jack was beaten at his previous run when finishing second in the $135,000 St Leger Trial at Bendigo and the horse that finished in front of him, Liqueuro franked the form by winning the Listed MRC Galilee Series Final (2400m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Tassie Derby Winner Explosive Jack Captures the Blue Riband at Randwick
From a maiden at Swan Hill to a benchmark 64 at Kembla Grange, to a  Tasmania Derby and everywhere in between, the well-travelled  Explosive Jack gave the toffs a beating in an all-Karaka graduate finish to Saturday’s $2,000,000 Group 1 ATC Bentley Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick.
Widden Stud Expand into Victoria
The world’s oldest family-owned and run thoroughbred stud farm, Widden Stud is set to write a new chapter in 2021 with a well-considered expansion plan into the Victorian marketplace.
Iffraaj Gelding Western Empire Another WA Derby Winner for Bob and Sandra Peters
It may not have been worry-free; however, the odds-on favourite Western Empire did enough to win Saturday’s $400,000 Group II Schweppes - WATC Derby at Ascot
Derby Hero Wins G2 Chairmans Quality
Winner of last year’s Group I ATC Australian Derby, quality stayer Quick Thinker hit top form on the first day of The Championships at Randwick to win the Group II ATC Chairmans Quality (2600m).
Brilliant Nature Strip Back to Best
Glamour sprinter Nature Strip made it back to back wins in the Group I ATC TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on Saturday on his way to racking up $8million in earnings.
Cascadian Completes Big Day for Godolphin with Barnstorming Win In Doncaster Mile
So often a hard-luck story since transferring from Andre Fabre to James Cummings, Cascadian (GB) finally had the breaks go his way under a perfectly-timed ride by Jamie Kah in Saturday’s $3,000,000 The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick.
New Stakes-Winner for Ocean Park
Promising galloper Whale Song got the big win he had hinted was coming when he dashed home along the inner to take out the Listed Christchurch Casino Easter Cup (1600m) at Riccarton on Saturday.
Makfi's Matchmaker Captures PJ Bell Stakes
Former kiwi Matchmaker opened her winning account for trainer Chris Waller when holding the challenge of the fast-finishing Marboosha in Saturday’s Group III China Horse Club PJ Bell Stakes (1200m) at Randwick.
Brilliant Lightning Victory for Nature Strip
Gifted jockey Jamie Kah brought her magic touch to enigmatic sprinter Nature Strip at Flemington on Saturday to bring out his best and win in the Group I VRC Lightning Stakes (1000m) over his fast finishing stablemate September Run.