Fiorente's Apulia Impresses in Moonee Valley Vase

Mark Smith - Saturday October 28

With the retirement of the Fiorente (IRE) stalwart Lunar Flare after her fourth in Friday night’s Group II Moonee Valley Gold Cup, the baton has been handed to the 3-year-old colt Apulia, who stormed to victory in Saturday’s Group II Drummond Golf Vase (2040m) at Moonee Valley.

Promising young stayer (image Grant Courtney)

Ridden by Mark Zahra for Ben, Will, and JD Hayes, Apulia overpowered the pacesetting Justify gelding Verdad by two lengths with another son of Justify (USA), Air Assault a further one and a half lengths back in third.

In opening his stakes account, the 3-year-old son of Fiorente advances his record to two wins and three seconds from eight starts with earnings of $415,875.

Apulia was backing up seven days after finishing fourth in the Group III Caulfield Classic.

“He really appreciated the quick back-up. He was on the back of a slow pace and he was doing a few things wrong.

“He’s a big, strong colt and he was really tough today. A ten-out-of-ten ride from Mark Zahra.”

“We bred him and race him in conjunction with the Garretts, which is such a huge result.

“We’ll see how he is. He’s a big, strong colt and I dare say he’ll back up again.”

“The horse was on his best behaviour. He must have known the big boss was here today, as we all do. He got his manners perfect. When Dad’s around, we have to be on our best behaviour.”

Mark Zahra said it all fell into place.

“It was a good run last start. In a smallish field and a better barrier, I was able to lob in the right spot,” Zahra said.

Derby next? (image Grant Courtney)

“That was his third run in three weeks and he picked up quick when I needed him to. I needed him to get around the other horse, and he got around them quickly and could join them on the turn.

“I felt I let Zac (Purton on Koning) take me as far as I could. All of these horses were up to the 2000 (metres) for the first time. You factor that in as well.

“But I reckon I won it from the 600 to the 300 with his turn-of-foot.”

Bred by Meadowvale Pastoral and Revelstone Stud, Apulia races for the Garrett family’s Revelstone Stud and Lindsay Park Bloodstock.

He is the first foal of the High Chaparral (IRE) mare Giannarelli, a half-sister to Group II Queensland Guineas third Spot The Rock (Fastnet Rock) out of the stakes-placed Fasliyev (USA) mare Can’t Hackit a great-granddaughter of AJC Oaks heroine Just Now.

Giannarell has a 2yo filly by Pride Of Dubai, a yearling filly by Nicconi and was covered by Nicconi last spring.



Race Result - Drummond Golf Vase Gr2 2040m

Moonee Valley Track: Good(3) Time: 2:04.36
- 3c Fiorente (IRE) x Giannarelli (AUS) (High Chaparral (IRE))
Tnr: Ben, Will & Jd Hayes Rdr: M Zahra 57
- 3g Justify (USA) x Whistle Baby (AUS) (Magnus (AUS))
Tnr: R Griffiths & M De Kock Rdr: Beau Mertens 57
Inglis Ready2Race Sale $150,000
Seller: Nolen Racing, Benalla, Vic
Buyer: Griffiths de Kock Racing / Peter Ford Thoroughbreds (FBAA)
Inglis Premier Yearling Sale $65,000
Seller: Merricks Station, Merricks
Buyer: T Nolen
Air Assault
- 3g Justify (USA) x Elegant Eagle (NZ) (Zabeel (NZ))
Tnr: A J Gluyas Rdr: Damian Lane 57
- 3c Fiorente (IRE) x Sense In The City (AUS) (Street Sense (USA))
Tnr: Pat Carey & Harris Walker Rdr: R Mc Leod 57
- 3c Zoustar (AUS) x Patricia Dawn (AUS) (Sebring (AUS))
Tnr: T Busuttin & N Young Rdr: O P Bosson 57
- 3c Kingman (GB) x Patsy Boyne (IRE) (Galileo (IRE))
Tnr: Richard & Will Freedman Rdr: Z Purton 57
Mah Ali
- 3f More Than Ready (USA) x Demanding Miss (AUS) (Commands (AUS))
Tnr: Benjamin Smith Rdr: Ms W Costin 55
- 3g Real Steel (JPN) x Lacey Lonhbreak (AUS) (Lonhro (AUS))
Tnr: D T O'Brien Rdr: J Mott 57
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