Formality looks to be a serious contender for the upcoming Gr.1 Golden Rose (Lisa Grimm)
One of Sydney’s richest spring plums, the $1,000,000 Group One Golden Rose Stakes at Rosehill Gardens on 23 September, is rapidly shaping up as a bumper renewal.
A number of genuine contenders have already emerged from the ranks of last season’s most promising juveniles, including last week’s Rosebud winner, Menari.
On Saturday, the Lindsay Park trained filly, Formality, threw her bridle into the ring with a bold barrier to wire performance in the Group Two 2GB Silver Shadow Stakes over 1200m at Royal Randwick.
It was the third win from six outings for the Fastnet Rock 3YO who kicked off her career with a pair of victories at Werribee and in the Group Three Chairman’s Stakes at Caulfield, before a third behind Catchy and Pariah (both likely rivals in the Golden Rose) in the Group One Blue Diamond and a 14th in the Heavy 10 of the Golden Slipper.
Formality again encountered a bog surface in the Group Two Percy Sykes – finishing a lip second to Shoals – before being tipped out for a spell.
Bred by long-time Coolmore Australia client, Dr Tan Kai Chah, Formality was purchased by Coolmore for $120,000 at the 2016 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale and has subsequently won $469,400 in those famous navy silks.
Formality was quickly out of the gates in the Silver Shadow and despite the close attention of Alizee over the final 200m, rallied strongly to score by a head.
“She was tough down the straight and it was good to see her fight back and get up,” co-trainer Ben Hayes points out. “Formality has always been a big, strong filly and I think she has just matured. She eats everything at home and she’s just fantastic.
“Her runs here last prep were on heavy tracks and now she is back on top of the ground it is good to see getting her nose in front.
“The main plan at the moment is the Golden Rose but she will next have a run in the 3YO race in two weeks time (Group Two Furious Stakes).”
Naturally enough, connections were also taken with the win and Coolmore’s Sales, Marketing & Racing Manager, Sebastian Hutch is relishing the prospect of a Golden Rose start: “Formality was one of the best of her generation at two and may well have compiled an even better record had she not struggled with the heavy ground in Sydney through the autumn,” Hutch mused.
“She spelled at Coolmore over the winter, along with Tulip, and both looked great when they went back into work.
“She (Formality) is a gross filly with a great constitution, so while she trialled well at Cranbourne and was fit enough to win on Saturday, the feeling is that there is still plenty of improvement.
“Even better, Formality was part of a group winning double at Randwick for Fastnet Rock, who is enjoying another amazing year in 2017. He has 21 stakes winners to his name for the year already.”
Coolmore Australia’s Stud Manager, Jim Carey, is also a huge fan and was watching the Silver Shadow closely: “Formality is an incredibly likeable filly with a great temperament and is very versatile.
“Her dam, Jolie’s Shinju, was a fantastic racemare for Dr Tan. She was a champion in Singapore and won the Derby there over 2000m, so it will be interesting to see if Formality will prove effective over further than sprint trips.
“The pedigree only looks like getting better and better, as Jolie’s Pearl, a sister to Formality and a smart filly in her own right, will be covered by American Pharoah this spring and Typhoon Jolie, another talented daughter of Jolie’s Shinju, will be covered by Fastnet Rock.”