Via Sistina makes an impact on debut

Hulking 6-year-old mare Via Sistina (Ire) (Fastnet Rock) made an immediate impact on Australian soil when the now Chris Waller-trained mare, ridden by James McDonald, coasted to success in the G1 Ranvet S.

Via Sistina, carrying the Yulong silks, showed her class to defeat the fellow colour-bearer Place Du Carrousel (Ire) (Lope De Vega {Ire}), while Buckaroo (GB) (Fastnet Rock) denied Think It Over (So You Think {NZ}) for third place.

The daughter of Coolmore Stud’s extraordinary Fastnet Rock is the best runner produced from the unraced Galileo (Ire) mare Nigh (Ire). Via Sistina won five races in Europe, including the G1 Pretty Polly S. at the Curragh and the G2 Dahlia S. at Newmarket.

Via Sistina (Ire) winning the G1 Ranvet S. | Image courtesy of Ashlea Brennan

In addition, Via Sistina was placed in the G1 Champion S. at Ascot and the G1 Prix Jean Romanet at Deauville before she was sold for 2.7 million gns (AU$5.2 million) to Evergreen Equine at the 2023 Tattersalls December Mares Sale.

Via Sistina was originally a 5000gns (AU$9700) purchase by Stephen Hillen Bloodstock at the 2019 Tattersalls October Yearling Sale.

Waller was eager to praise Via Sistina’s previous trainer, George Boughey, and the investment made by Yuesheng Zhang’s Yulong.

Connections of Via Sistina | Image courtesy of The Image Is Everything

“I am a small cog in the wheel; that’s all I am. Via Sistina is a very good horse, which came to us well-trained, lightly raced, and smartly purchased by Yulong,” he told 7HorseRacing.

“Her class is different from what we usually see, and my team and I are just privileged to play a small part in this mare’s success today (Saturday).”

Waller shared his first thoughts on Via Sistina and where the daughter of Fastnet Rock would likely head: “She had been prepared in England by James Ferguson and previously trained by George Boughey, who provided plenty of insight.

“Via Sistina came to us very fit, and we haven’t done anything with her; we just kept her ticking over. She’ll head to the Queen Elizabeth S.”