NZ-breds to the fore at Sandown

Trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace secured an early double at Sandown on Wednesday with a pair of Kiwi-bred fillies.

Pride of Dubai filly Mystique Falcon (NZ) (Pride of Dubai) recorded her maiden win over 1300m in just her second start.

She finished eighth when on debut over 1200m at Sale late last month and her connections were pleased to see the rising three-year-old show plenty of fight to win on Wednesday after being headed by Derive at the 100m mark.

“Last start she was slow into gear and just got lost after that,” Maher said.

“From the wide gate (11) I said to Jye (McNeil, jockey) today to be positive early and get her into the race. There didn’t look to be a lot of speed and given we were racing over a further trip.

“She had been out to Sandown for a few gallops and she was very good.

“She is a raw commodity at the moment. She got headed and picked up when the other horse (Derive) got competitive beside her.”

Maher said he has a lot of time for the filly and expects her to appreciate more ground.

“The stable has always had a high opinion of this filly and it was great to get a win for Laurence Eales and his team,” he said.

“I would say she will stay a trip. She is a big, scopey filly, and I think she has got a bright future.”

Maher and Eales went to $220,000 to secure Mystique Falcon out of Inglewood Stud’s 2019 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 1 Yearling Sale draft.

She is a half-sister to stakes winner Replique (NZ) (Darci Brahma), and Mystery Shot (Shooting To Win), who won well at Ballarat on Sunday.

Maher teamed up with McNeil again to win the following race with Ocean Park three-year-old High Emocean (NZ).

It was the second win on-end for the filly and Maher admitted to being fairly confident heading into the 2400m event.

“She has really bounced through her last run,” Maher said. “She has just thrived up there at Ballarat and her last two pieces of work had been first-class for her.

“Jye rode her pretty confidently. We thought the race mapped really well for her and it was great to get a city win for a horse like that.

“The horse has really come on and is really fit and well. They did roll along at a decent tempo, but she was just at the right spot to ride the back of the speed. Jye is riding in super form and you can see he was very confident.

High Emocean was purchased out of Wentwood Grange’s 2018 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 1 Yearling Sale draft by bloodstock agent John Foote for $80,000 and is a half-sister to the Roger James and Robert Wellwood-trained stakes winner Elate.

The Danny O’Brien-trained Grand De Flora (NZ) (Savabeel) continued the Kiwi winning streak at Sandown when victorious over a mile for Waikato Stud’s Mark and Gary Chittick.

“She has a nice cruisy run up-front and was allowed to show her turn of foot at the end,” stable representative Ben Gleeson said.

“She is a promising filly and the more we step her up in trip I think the more we are going to see from her.”

By New Zealand’s Champion sire Savabeel, Grand De Flora is out of triple Group One winner Daffodil (NZ) (No Excuse Needed).

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