Silverstream wins the Group Two WAROA Lee Steere Stakes in a thriller finish
The Melbourne Spring Carnival is winding down for another year, but such is the ‘travelling show’ nature of Australia’s thoroughbred industry, the folks out West are gearing up for their annual show.
Saturday week sees the running of the $1 million Group One Railway Stakes over 1600m at Ascot, while seven days on, the Group One Winterbottom Stakes – also worth a million – is staged over 1200m. Perth’s third and final Group One in 2017 is the Kingston Town Stakes is over 1800m on 9 December and yes, it too is worth seven figures.
The Winterbottom has fallen prey to numerous ‘eastern’ raiders in the last 10 years including Takedown, Buffering (twice), Ortensia (twice) and Takeover Target, but locals – particularly breeder/owners Bob and Sandra Peters – will be hoping the Railway stays on track in 2017.
The pair certainly took a step closer on Saturday when their homebred mare, Silverstream, captured the Group Two WAROA Lee Steere Stakes over 1400m in a thriller and it’s now full steam ahead for the Railway.
Trained by Adam Durrant and flying the famous Peters’ colours of cerise and white, Silverstream came into the Lee Steere fresh from a win in the Group Three Northerly Stakes over the same journey on 21 October, but was looking a place chance at best 50 metres from home on Saturday.
However, a brilliant ride from William Pike saw the 6YO Al Maher mare gather in the front runners – Great Shot and odds on favourite, Scales of Justice – to record her eighth win (and five placings) from 24 starts. Including her win in last year’s Listed Jungle Dawn, Silverstream has currently banked $552,300 in stakes.
Peters has confirmed that Silverstream will be given the chance to turn that tally into a million plus by taking on the Railway which he has won multiple times, including with Old Comrade in 2001 (who went to capture the 2002 Australian Cup) and as recently as 2014 with Elite Belle.
“The Railway is the way she (Silverstream) is going to go,” Peters points out. “That was very close on Saturday and we were fortunate the leaders brought themselves undone.”
“Silverstream is a 6YO and hasn’t got long to go (before heading off to stud) so we’ll at least give the Railway a try with her.”
Pike was also counting his lucky stars and was clearly relieved at securing the win: “I rode her to have the last say (in the Lee Steere) but that line was coming up pretty quick. It was a very good win.”
Bred by Arthur Mitchell, Silverstream was offered by the Mitchell family’s Yarraman Park Stud at the 2013 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale where she was knocked down to Damon Gabbedy’s Belmont Bloodstock Agency on behalf of the Peters.
Her asking price of $320,000 is the highest price paid for a yearling by Al Maher, but she appears to have been worth every cent given her broodmare residual.
Silverstream is one of seven winners from Brocco mare, Speedy Bell, who won the Listed AJC Gimcrack Stakes on debut at two, but has really shown her mettle in the breeding barn.
Aside from Silverstream, Speedy Bell is also the dam of Sydney Group winner, Speedy Natalie (in turn the dam of Flemington Group winner, Sweet And Speedy), along with the SF Bloodstock/China Horse Club etc. owned, Calanda, winner of the Listed Ramornie Stakes in July and a close up fourth in the Listed MSS Security Stakes at Flemington on Cup Day.
As for Al Maher, the Group One winning son of Danehill produced two stakes winners in the space of 30 minutes with Money Maher winning the Listed Fairetha Stakes over 1400m at Ascot for Daniel and Ben Pearce, while Token of Love ran third in the Group Two Matriarch Stakes over 2000m at Flemington.
Al Maher, who stands in the Hunter Valley under the Aquis Farm banner, now has 34 individual stakes winners to his name, including four Group One winners in Delicacy, Fat Al, Almalad and Diamond Drille … with Silverstream a good chance to make it five come Saturday week.