They say patience is a virtue and it’s particularly so in the racing caper.
For all intents and purposes, Montoya’s Secret is something of an ‘overnight’ success, winning her maiden at Pakenham on 2 March before, just 23 days later, notching up a Group One in the $500,000 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill.
Except to say that the filly had seven runs before breaking her duck and father and son training duo, Leon and Troy Corstens, have – according to at least one owner – nursed Montoya’s Secret along very well and she now appears poised to tackle the $1 million James Boag’s Premium Australian Oaks (2400m) at Royal Randwick on 8 April.
“Leon and Troy have done a fantastic job with Montoya’s Secret,” breeder and part-owner, Anthony Mithen, enthused. “It might have taken her seven runs to break through but she did show a lot of promise early. At one stage we were looking at the VRC Oaks but then Troy said ‘there’s one Oaks in the spring and around five in the autumn and winter, so let’s wait and see’. She will hopefully live up to those expectations at Randwick, but it’s very nice to win a Vinery along the way!”
Channelling ‘The Gambler’, Mithen added that you “have to know when to hold ‘em and when to fire ‘em and full marks to the Corstens’ for knowing exactly when to shoot.”
Mithen’s Rosemont Stud has been operating commercially for just over 10 years and is riding a wave of success of late with 2017 Australian Guineas success story, Hey Doc, and recent Group winner, Fuhryk, both sold out of the farm’s 2015 Inglis Melbourne Premier draft, adding to the lustre of the Vinery victory.
“I was standing next to (fellow part-owner) Ed McKeon shortly after we sold the filly (Montoya’s Secret) at the yearling sales to Troy Corstens for $130,000. Ed is a big supporter of the Corstens stable and said ‘I really like that High Chaparral filly of yours’ and when he found out that Troy had bought her, he decided to take half.
“She was such a nice filly that Rosemont kept a share in her as well. Anyway, we got the rewards on Saturday and hopefully more to come.”
Troy Corstens was also grateful for McKeon’s involvement and said the continued success of the stable was due to a core group of owners.
“Ed has been terrific … a great supporter,” Corstens points out. “I was really happy for him and the other owners on Saturday.
“I really liked Montoya’s Secret from the moment I laid eyes on her … terrific shoulder, great girth, really well balanced.
“I wasn’t sure how she would go on the heavy track in Sydney and it was really a toss up as to whether we should run her or not as she’d never run on the heavy before, but as I told the owners, we may as well find out whether she handles it in a $500,000 race rather than a ’64’ in the bush.”
Turns out she did.
HOOFNOTE: Montoya’s Secret’s dam, the well related and Group One Blue Diamond placed, Divine Secret, has also produced four other winners including the Group winner Delago’s Secret, while a 2YO full sister to the Vinery winner (by High Chaparral) is owned outright by Rosemont Stud.
Mithen explains that Divine Secret is currently in foal to Toorak Toff, but also has a “cracking Starspangledbanner colt” he bred in Australia to northern hemisphere time.
A brilliant sprinting son of Choisir who raced to dual Group One success in England (Golden Jubilee and July Cup), Starspangledbanner shuttled for a number of seasons and has a host of winners in Europe including Group One Prix Morny winner, The Wow Signal.
“It’s early days yet, but we might end up campaigning the Starspangledbanner colt in England … wouldn’t that be something.”