Best On Breeding

Mark Smith - Friday September 1

A competitive field of three-year-olds contest Saturday’s McNeill Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield with the age-old dilemma of those with a run or two under the belt against those returning from a winter’s break.

In the former category are Little Brose (Per Incanto), Scheelite (Real Steel), Coincide (Invader), and Hedged (Capitalist), and in the latter, Barber, Veight, and the lone filly in the race, Legacies (Justify).Veight begins his spring campaign in the McNeil Stakes (image Grant Courtney)

The Tony and Calvin McEvoy-trained Veight was the flagbearer for his first season sire Grunt (O’Reilly) last season.

After a facile 6-length romp on debut at Pakenham in February, Veight took the quantum leap to Group II company in his stride with a 2-length victory in the VRC Sires’Produce Stakes a month later.

Veight was a $220,000 Inglis Classic purchase for McEvoy Mitchell Racing / Belmont Bloodstock from the Sledmere Stud draft.

The son of Grunt had been pinhooked as a weanling for $100,000 from Yulong at the Magic Millions National Weanling Sale.


Built in the mould of his sire, Veight is the second winner from Group III, winning Fastnet Rock mare Neena Rock.

An $80,000 Inglis Premier yearling for her trainer Warren Bolton, Neena Rock made her first start as a 4yo in New Zealand, and it was worth waiting for. She demolished the field by upwards of six lengths at New Plymouth.

After four wins, including the Group III WRC Cuddle Stakes (1600m), Neena Rock was sent to Sydney to be trained by John Sargent.

She finished third behind Catkins in the Group III Sheraco Stakes and had her moment in the sun in the Group III Angst Stakes (1600m) at Randwick.

Yulong purchased Neena Rock for $500,000 at the 2015 Inglis Australian Broodmare Sale.

Veight a $220,000 Inglis Classic yearling

She is the best performed of the eight winners left by the Miesque’s Son (USA) mare  Feminine Wiles (USA), a half-sister to the top-class racehorse and outstanding broodmare sire Quiet American (USA).

The first two foals of Neena Rock to race have not set the world alight.

The daughter of Fastnet Rock has a 2yo sister to Veight and visited Tagaloa last spring after missing to the son of Lord Kanaloa in 2021.

The Group 1 VRC Australian Guineas and Group 1 Makybe Diva stakes hero Grunt has not had many runners to date. Still, he has another likely type in the Robbie Griffiths and  Mathew de Kock-trained Akicita.

The $300,000 Inglis Premier yearling is on a Caulfield Guineas path and holds a nomination for the Cox Plate after defeating the stakes-placed Sensical in an 1100m maiden at Pakenham.


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