Didn't See That Coming - Sepoy's Native Soldier Romps in McNeil
Mark Smith - Saturday September 1

A career best for Sepoy's consistent son Native Soldier who turned a competitive looking Group III H.D.F McNeil Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield into a one-act affair.

Given a positive ride by Dean Yendall from an outside barrier, Native Soldier controlled the race from the front.

Set to an all-out drive coming around the home turn, Native Soldier showed an impressive turn of foot and there was no catching him over the final 100 metres.

The Darren Weir-trained colt defeated The August (I Am Invincible) by two and three-quarter lengths with Seabrook (Hinchinbrook) a further length back in third. (photo Grant Courtney).

Coming off a close-up fourth behind Tony Nicconi in the Group III Vain Stakes at his most recent start, Native Soldier earned a maiden stakes success, advancing his overall record to 3 wins and 2 thirds from 7 starts with earnings of $168,850.

"I didn't see that coming to be honest. Obviously, he has taken good benefit from the run," Weir said.

"He went forward and controlled the race. I said to Dean be in the first four, he has to have a bring on run so don't go charging forward. He got across nicely, one furlong there was quite quick, and that was in the back of my mind in the last furlong. But he had a big enough break. He was stopping a bit late, but he was probably entitled to.

"He'll come on again from that. His coat is just about there, he sweated up a little behind the barrier so there is still a bit to come.

"He's on a Guineas path, he's a beautiful horse, a really good sort and he's been a good horse from day one."

Purchased by Darren Weir Racing/John Foote Bloodstock for $160,000 at the 2017 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, Native Soldier is the fourth foal of the hugely popular racemare Belong To Many who was purchased for just $20,000 as a yearling in 2005 and went on to win eight races and over $575,000, highlighted by four stakes wins, including the Group II Sapphire Stakes, when trained by Barbara Joseph.

A daughter of the former Widden shuttler, Belong To Me (USA), Belong To Many was later sold as a broodmare prospect for $525,000 at the 2009 Easter Broodmare Sale with Vin Cox signing the ticket.

Five years later, Belong To Many was consigned to the Magic Millions National Broodmare sale where she was knocked down to Gerry Harvey's Baramul Stud for $230,000.

Belong To Many has a 2yo filly and a yearling filly by I Am Invincible and was bred back to Yarraman Park Stud's highflyer again last season.

Native Soldier becomes the ninth stakes-winner for the champion racehorse Sepoy stands at Darley Stud's Northwood Park property this season at a fee of $11,000.

H.D.F. McNeil Stakes Gr3 1200m
Caulfield Track: Good(4) Time: 1:09.70
Native Soldier
T: D K Weir J: D Yendall 56
3c Sepoy (AUS) x Belong To Many (AUS) (Belong To Me (USA))
MM Gold Coast Yearling Sale $160,000
V:Baramul Stud Widden Valley NSW
B: Darren Weir Racing/John Foote Bloodstock
The August
T: Brent Stanley J: N Callow 56
3c I Am Invincible (AUS) x Acouplamas (AUS) (Al Maher (AUS))
Inglis Premier Yearling Sale $150,000
V:Holbrook Thoroughbreds, Scone, NSW
B: Cloud 9 Thoroughbreds
T: M G Price J: D Oliver 56.5
3f Hinchinbrook (AUS) x Midnight Revels (NZ) (Don Eduardo (NZ))
Inglis Premier Yearling Sale $85,000
V:Maluka Thoroughbreds, Kilmore
B: Blueblood Thoroughbreds (Australia) Pty Ltd
T: R E Laing J: Ben Thompson 56
3c Fastnet Rock (AUS) x Impressive Eagle (AUS) (Rubiton (AUS))
Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale $340,000
V:Coolmore Stud, Jerry's Plains
B: R & S Montague
T: James Cummings J: Craig Williams 58.5
3c Lonhro (AUS) x Guelph (AUS) (Exceed And Excel (AUS))
T: D and B Hayes and T Dabernig J: M Zahra 58.5
3c Siyouni (FR) x Aloona (USA) (Smart Strike (CAN))
T: C W Little J: Beau Mertens 57.5
3c Zacinto (GB) x Highlights (NZ) (High Chaparral (IRE))
NZB Select Yearling Sale $25,000
V:Windsor Park Stud
B: Colin Little Racing
Granny Red Shoes
T: A J Edmonds J: Ryan Maloney 55.5
3f Not A Single Doubt (AUS) x Shoboard (AUS) (Show A Heart (AUS))
MM Gold Coast Yearling Sale $280,000
V:Cressfield Scone NSW
B: Segenhoe Thoroughbreds
Rock Hard
T: Byron Cozamanis J: Regan Bayliss 56
3c All Too Hard (AUS) x Rock Of Fortune (AUS) (Fastnet Rock (AUS))
MM Gold Coast Yearling Sale $80,000
V:Kia-Ora Stud Scone NSW
B: Cameron Cooke Bloodstock/Cozamanis Racing
T: Tony McEvoy J: L Currie 56
3c Foxwedge (AUS) x Off The Canvas (AUS) (Elusive Quality (USA))
Inglis Classic Yearling Sale $90,000
V:Glastonbury Farms, Scone
B: McEvoy Mitchell Racing Pty Ltd
Not A Single Cent
T: C Maher and D Eustace J: B Melham 58.5
3c Not A Single Doubt (AUS) x Busking (AUS) (Encosta De Lago (AUS))
MM Gold Coast Yearling Sale $280,000
V:Willow Park Stud Scone NSW
B: Ciaron Maher Racing
Tony Nicconi
T: D and B Hayes and T Dabernig J: L Nolen 58
3c Nicconi (AUS) x Wickham (AUS) (Elusive Quality (USA))
Power Of Attorney
T: A J Vasil J: G Schofield 56
3c Not A Single Doubt (AUS) x Rock Hit (AUS) (Fastnet Rock (AUS))
Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale $480,000
V:Glastonbury Farms, Scone
B: Tony Vasil Training Services
T: M Ellerton and S Zahra J: Damien Thornton 56
3c Charge Forward (AUS) x Ebony Wand (AUS) (Flying Spur (AUS))
Inglis Classic Yearling Sale $70,000
V:Newgate Farm, Aberdeen
B: Ellerton Zahra Racing Pty Ltd
MM National Weanling Sale Select Session $20,000
V:Arrowfield Stud Scone NSW
B: AMP Proprietary
T: P and P Snowden J: Damian Lane 56
3c Snitzel (AUS) x Bondi Blonde (AUS) (Red Ransom (USA))
MM Gold Coast Yearling Sale $400,000
V:Strawberry Hill Stud Mt White NSW
B: China Horse Club/Newgate TS/Winstar