Siege of Quebec (by Fastnet Rock) displayed all the natural ability and fighting qualities required to win a major feature race as a 3-year-old when landing the opening event on Saturday's Rosehill Gardens meeting in Sydney, the $100,000, ATC #TheRaces Handicap (1400m).
Siege Of Quebec and Tommy Berry, picture Stevehart.com.au
A seven-figure yearling sale purchase trained on behalf of a heavy hitting group of owners by Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, Siege of Quebec went in to the contest the winner of his only previous outing and maintained his unbeaten record with a performance full of considerable promise.
Sent to the front in the 1400m assignment, Siege of Quebec had things very much his own way until joined in the lead by the contest’s second favourite Calculated (by So You Think) when entering the final 300m.
Seemingly going much the better of the two at the time, it appeared as if Calculated would have little difficulty in passing Siege of Quebec and racing on to a comfortable victory, tough it proved to be anything but the case.
The final 150m of the contest saw Siege of Quebec respond brilliantly to the urgings of race rider Tommy Berry, the duo surging clear of Calculated over the closing stages.
The $2.40 favourite of the contest, Siege of Quebec ultimately finished half-a-length clear of Calculated ($2.70) in second place, with Condor ($9.50) finishing a further three and half-lengths adrift in third.
Stable spokesman Adrian Bott suggested that the performance was an accurate reflection of the colt’s ability and general approach to racing at this formative stage of his exciting career.
”He looked under a bit of pressure at the top of the straight, but that’s just the colt,” explained Bott.
“He’s got plenty of fighting qualities about him; he does what he has to. He’s such a naturally talented horse… there’s a lot of raw ability there at the moment.
“He is still working out what it’s all about. Still learning when to quicken, when to let-down. But when he’s challenged, he knows exactly what to do and it’s important that he knows where the line is.”
Bott revealed that the stable has known of Seige of Quebec’s above-average ability from a relatively early stage.
“He showed plenty of promise early on. We took him down to Melbourne for an early spring campaign and had a jump out down there.
“We just thought he was going to benefit from a bit of time, so we put him out. Gave him plenty of time and I think we are reaping the benefits now.
“The immediate plans are that he will be heading towards the Golden Rose… probably going through the Ming Dynasty and leading in to the Golden Rose. We’ve got a little bit of a break between runs, so we’ll freshen him up, keep him ticking over and then head in to those feature races.”
Siege of Quebec is now two-from-two, having opened-up his winning account on debut at the Beaumont circuit in Newcastle. Raced in the unmistakable blue livery of Coolmore, his group of owners also include Nordic Racing And Breeding, Mrs B C Bateman, Mr P Hogan, Lady J A Hogan, Emirates Park, Mrs S M Montague, Geraghty Bloodstock Pty Ltd, G1G Racing & Breeding and Ms K Waterhouse.
Siege of Quebec is the third living foal of Rose of Cimmaron, and thus a full-brother to the Group 3 winner and Group 1 placegetter Bull Point. Rose of Cimmaron is herself a full-sister to the Group winning dam of multiple Group 1 winner and $7 million earner Criterion.
#TheRaces Handicap, photo finish picture ATC