Early Derby Day Double for Lonhro

Tara Madgwick - Saturday November 3
Darley's champion sire Lonhro was quick to make his mark on Derby Day with Ranier winning the Group III VRC Carbine Club Stakes to start the program and progressive three year-old filly Aristia following up to win the very next race, the Group II VRC Wakeful Stakes.

Winless in nine previous starts, the Matt Ellerton and Simon Zahra trained Aristia had been running in all the tough fillies races and not beaten far so was overdue for her turn to shine.

Second to Verry Elleegant at her most recent run in the Group III MRC Ethereal Stakes, she was able to turn the tables on that filly when hitting the line hard for Damian Lane to win the 2000 metre staying test by three-quarters of a length over Qafila with last season's Group I winning filly El Dorado Dreaming in third place.

Aristia as a yearlingVerry Elleegant did herself no favours in the run and ended up a disappointing fifth as favourite.

"It's a good race to break your maiden in," said Matt Ellerton.

"We never lost faith in her and if she pulls up well, she can back up Thursday for the Oaks."

An $80,000 Inglis Easter purchase for First Light Racing / Ellerton Zahra / Paul Willetts Bloodstock from the Vinery Stud draft, Aristia has a win and five placings from 10 starts with prizemoney in excess of $270,000.

Bred by Greg Perry, Aristia is the best of three winners from Group III winning Tiger Hill (IRE) mare Nakaaya, whose third dam is Princess Talaria, a darling of the 1977 Melbourne Spring Carnival when she won the Group I VATC Thousand Guineas, Group II VRC Edward Manifold Stakes and placed in the Group I VRC Oaks. The family has produced numerous stakes-winners including Group I AJC Flight Stakes winner Royal Purler.

Nakaaya has a yearling colt by Written Tycoon and has foaled this spring producing a filly by Newgate Farm young gun Flying Artie, winner of the Group I VRC Coolmore Stud Stakes in 2016.

Aristia is the 78th stakes-winner for Lonhro, who stands at a fee of $55,000.

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