Carrying the colours of Anthony Mithen’s Rosemont Stud, the 3yo Manhattan Rain rig Runaway led every step of the way under Stephen Baster in the 161st running of the $200,000 Listed VRC St Leger (2800m) at Flemington on Anzac Day.
It was the third win from 12 starts for the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained bay who was coming off a win in a benchmark 64 at over 2200m at Geelong on April 17.
Keeping up a relentless gallop, Runaway defeated Rezealient (Sebring) by one and a half lengths with Wolfe Tone (Mettre En Jeu) a half-neck back in third.
“He’s done an amazing job because I couldn’t get him to switch off and get into a rhythm until we got to the 1800m or mile,” Baster said.
“Then he switched off and pricked his ears and I thought I might still have them and to his credit, he was strong all the way to the line.”
Waterhouse said the St Leger is a stepping stone for the stayers of the future.
“It’s a wonderful race. Keep it for three-year-old’s only, increase the prizemoney and increase the starters because this is the exactly stepping stone you need to go to the Melbourne Cup and that’s the race we all think about,” Waterhouse said.
“The St Leger is a time-honoured race throughout the world particularly in England and Australia.
“Three starts ago we were going to send him for a spell and geld him. “He must have heard that as he hasn’t stopped going fast.”
Purchased by Gai Waterhouse Racing / J Blaxland for $150,000 out of the Rosemont Stud draft the 2016 Australian Easter Yearling Sale, Runaway advances his record to 3 wins, 3 seconds and 1 third from 12 starts with earnings of $220,735.
A half-brother to the 2011 Group 1 AJC Australian Oaks winner Absolutely and the 2016 Group 1 SAJC Schweppes Oaks winner Abbey Marie, Runaway is the seventh winner from as many foals out of the Catrail mare Catshaan.
Rosemont Stud purchased Catshaan for $160,000 at the Teeley Assets dispersal in 2014 when she was carrying the St Leger winner.
Her 2yo Redoute’s Choice colt named Zaahed was purchased by Shadwell Stud Australasia for $550,000 at the 2017 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale and was exported to South Africa.
A half-sister to the Champion Sprinter/Miler in Japan in 2010, Kinshasa No Kiseki, Catshaan has a yearling filly by Zoustar and a weanling filly by Fastnet Rock.
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