Lope De Vega's Stakes Double Highlights Value at Patinack Dispersal

Mark Smith - Sunday March 10

While Lope De Vega's 4-time Group 1 winner Santa Ana Lane could not get the job done in Saturday's Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m), the former Patinack Farm shuttler struck twice at Flemington to highlight once again what a loss he was to the local industry when he failed to return after the 2014 season.

Former New Zealand filly Spanish Whisper struck first in the Group II Kewney Stakes (1400m) before Spanish Reef rounded out Super Saturday with a brave performance in the Group III Schweppervescence Trophy (1600m). (images Grant Courtney)

The winner of two of her four starts in New Zealand including the Group II Matamata Breeders' Stakes, Spanish Whisper crossed the Tasman to the Lindsay Park stable off the back of a third-place finish in the Group 1 Sistema Stakes at Ellerslie. Bloodstock agent Mark Pilkington acquired a controlling interest in Spanish Whisper for client, Seymour Bloodstock following negotiations with her breeder and part-owner, Daniel Nakhle who retained an interest along with his father Elias and Darren Brady who were all involved in the breeding of the 3yo filly.

Spanish Whisper had three starts in her first preparation for David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig last spring, with a second to the star Tasmanian Mystic Journey in a Listed race at Caufield her best result.

She returned from a spell to finish runner-up in the Group III Typhoon Tracy Stakes at Moonee Valley on February 19.

With Dwayne Dunn in the saddle on Saturday, Spanish Whisper out-duelled her stablemate Victory Kingdom to win by a neck with the favourite Angelic Ruler another short half-head away third.

"She cost a lot of money and being an Australian Group II winner now it gives her a chance to be a Group 1 filly," David Hayes told racing.com.

"I think she's got it all ahead of her because she's just learning how to do things right, she's been a little aggressive and taken a while to settle in.

"That was a good win because she dug deep and beat what I think is a good filly.

Spanish Whisper will now be targeted at the $1 million Group 1 Coolmore Legacy Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on April 13.

She is the best of three winners from as many to race out of the unraced Encosta de Lago mare Cutting Remark who is a sister to Glowlamp who never earned a stakes win despite placing nine times at stakes level including the Group 1 AJC Champagne Stakes and Group 1 One Thousand Guineas.

A half-sister to the Group III Hobart Cup winner Offenbach (Danehill), Cutting Remark hails from the family of the champion Rock Of Gibraltar.

Purchased by New Zealand Bloodstock for $22,000 from the 2014 Patinack Farm dispersal, Cutting Remark has an unraced 2yo colt by Foxwedge and a filly foal by Super Easy. She was covered by Savabeel last spring.

The second stakes-winner for Lope De Vega (IRE) at Flemington on Saturday was the Ken Keys-trained 5yo mare Spanish Reef who defended her title in the Group III Schweppervescence Trophy (1600m).

Bred by Patinack Farm, Spanish Reef, like Spanish Whisper's dam Cutting Remark, was purchased at the 2014 Patinack Dispersal. The yearling filly was purchased by Keys for just $12,500.

Spanish Whisper is now likely to attempt to defend her title in the Group II Sunline Stakes before meeting her paternal half-sister Spanish Reef in the Group 1 Coolmore Legacy at Randwick.

Her overall record stands at 6 wins, 4 seconds and 1 third from 20 starts with earnings of $544,100.

"We've trained her a bit differently this year," Keys told AAP.

"We've left a bit in the tank. I think she was a pretty tired horse when she got to Sydney last year.

"This autumn has been perfect. She has finally matured and she looks like a horse now.

"She's the real deal."

Spanish Reef is the first foal of the unraced Lemon Drop Kid mare Lemon Reef (USA) who is a daughter of the Grade III winner Storm Dream (Catrail) who was third in the Group 1 One Thousand Guineas at Newmarket.

Sold to Willcox Bloodstock for $18,000 at the 2016 Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale, Lemon Reef (USA) was exported in 2016 after being covered by Olympic Glory (IRE).

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