3rd October 3018
There is nothing quite like the anticipation that surrounds the first two-year-old races of the season, and for Victorian operation Yulong there was plenty to get excited about when their filly Catch Me lived up to her name when winning the Group 3 Gimcrack Stakes on Saturday.
The blue-blooded filly represented a red-letter day for Yulong and perhaps a preview into the success they hope for in Australian racing in coming years. Apart from her win, over the weekend they had a Listed winner at Mornington, a winner at Morphettville and two Group 1 placings in different states.
Yulong Investments’ Chief Operating Officer Sam Fairgray was very optimistic by the manner in which Catch Me was able to secure the Group 3 victory in her debut.
“I think Mr Zhang was by no doubt the happiest man on Saturday. It’s been four years that Yulong have been in Australia and it’s so pleasing to see his careful planning and unwavering passion starting to deliver the results,” Fairgray said.
“She was a cracking filly at (Inglis) Easter (sale) from a great family going back to Eight Carat. She looked sharp, fast, walked well and just caught the eye.
“While Catch Me will be heading off to the paddock (in readiness for an autumn campaign), we have a good number of juveniles coming through before Christmas, and our older horses and imports are stepping up at the right time to become significant players. There is plenty to get excited about.”
Also performing for Yulong at black-type level on Saturday was the Darren Weir trained Haripour (IRE), who claimed the Listed Ansett Classic at Mornington. He maintains a Melbourne Cup entry.
Perhaps Yulong’s big cups chance though is through Tosen Basil who was a brilliant runner up in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes at Caulfield on Sunday. With the performance, the entire has jumped into the position of equal favourite for both the Melbourne and Caulfield Cups.
“It was a brilliant run, and we couldn’t be happier with how well he is working. He is definitely looking for more ground, and he will now have a run over 2000 metres in the Caulfield Stakes before being set for the Caulfield Cup,” Fairgray said.
The weekend success didn’t stop there. The Lindsay Park trained Sikandarabad (IRE) got up for third in the Group 1 Metropolitan at Randwick while the Mick Price trained gelding Holy Command saluted in Adelaide.
“Mick Price has done a great job, and he is very consistent. He is a progressive sort of horse with plenty of upside, and he looks to be a nice stakes horse in the future,” Fairgray said.
A major player in mainland China’s flourishing thoroughbred industry, Yulong is set to become one of the big players in Australian racing breeding.
Their breeding operation is focused in Victoria having acquired Nagambie properties Limerick Lane (450 acres) and Hillside Thoroughbreds (250 acres) in the past twelve months.
Yulong has the intention of standing ‘high end’ stallions from the 2019 breeding season at its Nagambie base.