Quinella for Yulong as Southport Tycoon waltzes to G1 Guineas success

The G1 Australian Guineas was kept in local hands by Southport Tycoon (Written Tycoon) on Saturday. It was the Ciaron Maher-trained 3-year-old colt who emerged for a decisive victory in the stallion-making race, leading home fellow Victorian Veight (Grunt {NZ}) by 1.3l. After a less-than-fortuitous run, the pre-race favourite from Chris Waller’s stable, Riff Rocket (American Pharoah {USA}) had to settle for third.

Runner-up by a small margin on each of his previous two starts, the G2 Autumn S. and G2 Australia S., Southport Tycoon was an outsider ahead of Flemington’s feature on Saturday, and provided his syndicate ownership, Bennett Racing, with a huge day out, and they might only just be getting started…

“The scary thing is he’s so raw still,” commented winning jockey Jamie Kah, who was following up on her 10th Group 1 notched only last weekend.

A $300,000 purchase for Bennett Racing at the 2022 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale from the draft of Daandine Stud, Syndicate chief Nathan Bennett was left visibly moved in the wake of Southport Tycoon’s achievement.

Southport Tycoon | Image courtesy of The Image Is Everything

“It’s just huge for Bennett Racing and what we’ve been trying to build for the last five/six years,” he said.

“We’ve been there abouts but we just kept getting nailed… but wow, he’s a pretty good colt too.”

Whilst plans are yet to be confirmed, the Australian Guineas winner earns a place in The All-Star Mile, a target his trainer didn’t rule out.

“… being a 3-year-old colt, maybe it’s worth considering a little bit more,” Maher said.

“Now he’s got that Group 1 on the board, it’s a more realistic option, but I’m sure they’ll enjoy it tonight and we’ll have some good, healthy conversations about it tomorrow.”

Thirteen individual Group 1 winners now stand in the shadow of Yulong Stud’s Written Tycoon. Heading into the final 100 metres, the Victorian-based stud looked assured of a dream result, as Southport Tycoon drew alongside Veight, a son of their second-season sire Grunt (NZ).

Whether Southport Tycoon becomes the fourth son of Written Tycoon to stand at stud remains to be seen, but his pedigree certainly positions him as a strong candidate. He is out of Ready To Rule (USA) (More Than Ready {USA}), a sister to US stakes winner and Group 1 runner-up Grace And Power (USA), who is also the grandam of one Artorius.