Lope de Vega's Promising Divine Unicorn Captures Tattersalls Cup

Mark Smith - Saturday June 23

The former shuttler Lope de Vega (IRE) has enjoyed a fine run of success of late and he was represented by another stakes-winner at Doomben.

Saturday's Group III Tattersalls Cup hero Divine Unicorn (GB) is one with a different story to tell.

The Mat Dunn-trained gelding was a 110,000 guineas purchase by Magnus Equine at the 2015 Tattersalls October Yearling Sale but a few weeks later he was on the plane to Australia while his future looked to be in Hong Kong.

"The idea is to race him here first where the climate is closer to Hong Kong's. They wanted to win a Group race with him and then take him to Hong Kong, Dunn told AAP.

The 4yo son of Lope de Vega made a winning career debut at Ipswich just over a year ago but was not asked to tackle stakes company until his most recent start when third behind Hopfgarten in the Wayne Wilson Stakes at Doomben on June 9.

With Jim Byrne in the saddle, Divine Unicorn enjoyed the run of the race before driving through between runners to defeat Ipswich Cup winner Tradesman by one and a quarter lengths with Jumbo Prince back in third.

"He has taken some quantum leaps this preparation, Dunn said.

I was nervous about going from 1600m to 2200m with a horse as inexperienced as he is but he proved today that he is a stayer with a massive future.

"Last start he was off the bridle the whole way in a 1600m and Jimmy and I spoke before the race of the need for him to settle to run the trip. He locked him away and gave him every possible chance and hit the lead late like we wanted to.

"I'm not sure where he is going to end up with this horse but certainly what he is doing now it could be anywhere.

"We will access him and see how he is. There is probably not a whole lot about for him now. The Grafton Cup may be an option but I don't know if we have to take that on just yet. We might give him a little break and bring him back for the spring.

Dunn said the aim would be to take Divine Unicorn to Hong Kong for the International series.

"He should get an invitation to run there. I can take him up there and leave him," he said.

With his first stakes win in the bag, Divine Unicorn (GB) advances his record to 4 wins, 1 seconds and 2 thirds from 8 starts with earnings of $214,965.

The 41st stakes-winner for Lope de Vega (IRE) (pictured), Divine Unicorn is a half-brother to the multiple Group III-placed Measuring Time (Dubai Destination out of the stakes-placed Inchberry (Barathea) from the family of the successful stallion Inchinor.


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