On To The Derby - Soul Patch Romps In Moonee Valley Vase

Mark Smith - Saturday October 26

The Whishaw family of Armidale Stud will be biting the fingernails down to the quick as the countdown to Mystic Journey’s historic bid for the Cox Plate draws ever closer but the nerves would have been settled somewhat by the win of the Victoria Derby bound Soul Patch in Saturday's Group II Drummond Golf Vase (2040m).

The Ken Keys-trained son of Cox Plate hero Shamus Award hit the line strongly under Dwayne Dunn to defeat the filly Moonlight Maid  (Puissance de Lune) by two and a half lengths with Serious Liaison (Zoffany) three and a quarter lengths back in third.Soul Patch a class above in Moonee Valley Vase

A veteran of just five starts, Soul Patch was making his first start since finishing eighth in the Caulfield Guineas.

Keys is still searching for his first winner at the highest level.

"I think I'm due, but I've been built up too often to be let down, so we'll just see how it plays out," Keys told AAP.

"He's got a pedigree of a middle-distance horse, not a Derby horse, but he races like a stayer.

"He's got more brilliance than a true stayer, but he's got the temperament of a stayer."

Dunn said the addition of blinkers had made a difference.

"He's a lovely style of a horse and his sectionals in the Guineas were awesome," Dunn said.

"We just felt he needed the blinkers to try and put him into the race a bit, but we were mindful today that we didn't overdo it.

"We wanted to see him run the trip with the Derby in mind and Kenny and his team are doing a fantastic job with him."Soul Patch and Dwayne Dunn - images Grant Courtney

Bred by Armidale Stud, Soul Patch was in the stud’s draft at the 2018 Magic Millions Tasmanian Yearling Sale where Keys had the last say at $45,000.

Keys went back to this year’s Tasmanian sale to purchase a Street Boss (USA) half-brother to Soul Patch for $95,000.

Their dam God Bless Us (Flying Spur) is a Sydney winning half-sister to stakes-placed Angel Rose (Testa Rossa) out of the multiple Group II placed Holy Bounty (Don't Say Halo).

Purchased for $26,000 at the 2016 MM National Broodmare Sale, God Bless Us has a yearling filly by Alpine Eagle.

Soul Patch becomes the fifth stakes-winner for Shamus Award who stands at Rosemont Stud for a fee of $11,000.



Race Result - Drummond Golf Vase Gr2 2040m

Moonee Valley Track: Good(4) Time: 2:06.60
Soul Patch
- 3c Shamus Award (AUS) x God Bless Us (AUS) (Flying Spur (AUS))
Tnr: K M Keys Rdr: D Dunn 57
Moonlight Maid
- 3f Puissance De Lune (IRE) x Manhattan Maid (AUS) (Choisir (AUS))
Tnr: Mitchell Freedman Rdr: B Melham 55
Serious Liaison
- 3c Zoffany (IRE) x Little Miss Smiley (AUS) (Husson (ARG))
Tnr: D T O'Brien Rdr: D Oliver 57
Independent Road
- 3g Declaration Of War (USA) x Malibu Road (USA) (Malibu Moon (USA))
Tnr: D & B Hayes & T Dabernig Rdr: L Nolen 57
- 3c Savabeel (AUS) x Aspinal (NZ) (Pins (AUS))
Tnr: M Price & M Kent Jnr Rdr: J Bowman 57
- 3c Reliable Man (GB) x Oh So Royal (AUS) (Danzero (AUS))
Tnr: John Thompson Rdr: J B Mc Donald 57
- 3c Polanski (AUS) x Fabianska (AUS) (Danehill (USA))
Tnr: R E Laing Rdr: M Zahra 57
- 3c Fastnet Rock (AUS) x Mother's Milk (NZ) (Savabeel (AUS))
Tnr: T Busuttin & N Young Rdr: N Rawiller 57
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