The incredible run of success by Australian-bred 2YOs in New Zealand continued on Saturday with promising colt, Summer Passage, capturing the Listed Matamata Slipper.
It was an impressive front-running display from the Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott trained, Summer Passage, who debuted with a second last month behind another Australian-bred flyer in Aim Smart, only to turn the tables at Matamata.
Bred and offered by Highgrove Stud’s Ron and Deb Gilbert, Summer Passage was knocked down to Hermitage Thoroughbreds at last year’s Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale for $800,000.
Summer Passage is by the Arrowfield Stud based, Snitzel, and was the sire’s 23rd individual juvenile winner this season and his 23rd 2YO stakes winner overall. It was also Snitzel’s ninth same-day stakes winner with Farson capturing the Group Two Autumn Classic at Caulfield around 90 minutes after Summer Passage’s success.
Summer Passage is nominated for the $3.5 million Golden Slipper, but Andrew Scott – representing the stable with Lance O’Sullivan in Melbourne for the Premier Sale – said that a Golden Slipper run was doubtful and a start in the Group One ATC Sires’ Produce a fortnight later was much more likely: “We’ll firm up plans later in the week but the Sires’ could be a nice option … it’s worth $1 million and while he still needs to do a bit more to reach those sorts of heights, if he carries on improving the way he has been recently, you never know.”
Summer Passage is the second foal of Encosta de Lago mare, Subsequent, a winning half sister to stakes winners Get To Work and Order of the Sun and closely related to smart 3YOs, Northwest Passage and Man From Uncle.