Sword Of Light takes out the Gr.2 Let’s Elope Stakes at Flemington (Racing Photos)
We often speak of the ‘ups and downs’ of horse racing, but leading jockey, Damian Lane, took it from the metaphorical to the literal in the space of 40 minutes at Flemington on Saturday.
Piloting Limestone in the Group Two Danehill Stakes, the 3YO filly clipped the heels of Booker in the final stages and fell … fortunately with no lingering injuries to either horse or jockey.
Dusting himself off, Lane then hopped aboard Sword of Light for the Group Two Let’s Elope Stakes over 1400m and, this time, managed to avoid any major interference, getting up in a thriller.
“She (Sword of Light) was game,” Lane enthused. “We got across outside the lead really easy and she switched off well for me in the run. I thought she might have felt the pinch late, but to her credit she was tough.”
An impressive 2YO who won by over five lengths on debut and followed up with a victory in the Group Three Blue Diamond Preview, Sword of Light mixed her form in three further juvenile performances, while 3YO spring highlights included a third in the Group Two Tranquil Star and fourth in the Listed Hilton during the Flemington Melbourne Cup carnival.
Sword of Light ended a 15 month winners’ circle drought in April with a victory over a mile at Caulfield in April, followed up two weeks later by a score over the same journey, before a midfield finish in the Group One Schweppes Oaks in Adelaide ended her 3YO campaign.
Sent out an $18 pick for the Let’s Elope, Sword of Light had resumed at Caulfield on 2 September with a promising fifth behind Savanna Amour in the Group Three Cockram Stakes.
Trained by Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra and bred and owned by Hesket Bloodstock – as is Limestone – Sword of Light has now won five of 19 outings for $608,250 in stakes.
“It was a rollercoaster day for us to be honest,” Hesket Bloodstock’s Jenny Moodie reveals. “We were still reeling from Limestone’s fall by the time the Let’s Elope came around, but it was a top win by Sword of Light and terrific to see her notch up a second stakes victory.”
Originally breeding and racing their horses under the Contract Racing banner, David and Jenny Moodie formed Hesket Bloodstock with Ashley Hardwick in 2012 with the oldest ‘Heskets’ now 4YOs and include 2016/17 2YO stakes winner, Arctic Angel.
Sword of Light hails from the fourth generation of Moodie owned mares and is out of the King’s Best matron, Joyeuse, who was stakes placed in Sydney and, in turn, is a daughter of Group winner Razor Blade, the dam of seven winners including the stakes winners Flamberge (triple Group One winner), Sunburnt Land, Durendal and Curtana.
“Joyeuse has a 3YO filly, Kaiken, who is with Darren Weir, while her 2YO Exceed And Excel colt will be trained by Mat (Ellerton) and Simon (Zahra),” Moodie adds. “Good girl that she is, she also has a smashing yearling filly by Written Tycoon, is in foal to Redoute’s Choice and has been booked to Fastnet Rock.”