Two To Watch - Ballarat
Mark Smith - Tuesday September 3

It seemed like a run of the mill Tuesday meeting on the synthetic at Ballarat, but a three-year old colt by Shooting To Win and a  Toronado (IRE) filly made career debuts that have connections walking on air.

The Philip Stokes stable was expecting a big performance from the Shooting To Win colt Miroku in the 1200 metre maiden and they weren't disappointed.

After looking likely to be caught wide, Ben Allen elected to take a hold of Miroku and he got into a nice trailing position three pairs back.

He was the widest runner coming around the home turn and looked to be treading water for a while but once balanced up he charged home over the last two hundred metres to defeat Lindsey Park's Sidestep colt Surreal Step by half a length with the Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Pins colt Yulong Power three and a quarter lengths back in third.

Ben Allen said the stable held the colt in high regard.

"He's always shown ability back at home and it was just a matter of getting him to settle because he is quite hot-headed," Allen said.

"I was quite surprised how well he relaxed because in his trials he had been quite keen."

Phillip Stokes did not try to hide his admiration and has big plans for the Shooting To Win colt.

"He's a lovely horse, really happy to get a winner for (owner) Wylie (Dalziel) and the boys, Stokes said.

They have had to be patient with this horse, he has gone shin-sore then he had a bit of mucous in his throat and we got him right here today.

"I loved the way he relaxed, he's still a colt and did a few things wrong early but he's got a lovely future – let's see if we go the Guineas path."

Purchased by Dalziel Racing/Peter Moody Racing $60,000 out of the Lomar Park draft at the 2018 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, Miroku is the send foal of the winning Rock Of Gibraltar (IRE) mare Ray Of Sun who is a half-sister to Group II Queensland Guineas winner Sir Moments (Choisir).

This is the top-class family of the outstanding filly Princess Talaria, which has been championed, so affectively, in recent years by Gooree Stud.

If Miroku had tongues wagging, it was near euphoria when the Andrew Noblet-trained Toronado filly Backpedal lowered the 1100 metre track record at her career debut by an ever-widening eight lengths.

Jamie Kah had the filly smartly away from an inside barrier and travelling sweetly behind the pace by the long-shot Top Swerve.

Under little urging by Kah, the quick-stepping daughter of Toronado (IRE) cleared away to defeat I Am Invincible gelding Kamien with the Medaglia d'Oro (USA) filly Alasaayel a further three lengths back in third.

Noblet did his best to keep his emotions in check.

"She trialled up well leading into this and she was ready to go," he said.

"The Toronado's were always going to be three-year-olds and she is a well-related filly with a good future.

"We will see how she pulls up but this time of the year there are no easy races so we will pick a nice little ratings race in her age group and go from there."

Purchased by Sheamus Mills Bloodstock (FBAA)/ Andrew Noblet Racing for $120,000 out of the Sun Stud draft at the 2018 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale, Backpedal (pictured as a yearling ) is a half-sister to the stakes-placegetters Comearoundsundown (Not A Single Doubt) and Creativity (Master Of Design) out of the unraced More Than Ready (USA) mare Voltara who boast a perfect record of six for six.

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