Gooree Stud’s home-bred Gem Song took out the $160,000, Group 3 Aquis Farm Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m) at Warwick Farm on Saturday after a ride by Jason Collett that took an inside passage on ground previously spurned in earlier races.
The Kris Lees trained Your Song colt was resuming for a new campaign and after Saturday’s win Lees will send the colt on a path of the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on February 23rd and the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) at Randwick on March 9th.
The win was not looking likely at the top of the main straight with Collett having to work on Gem Song to keep in touch with the field of six. Those ahead spread out across the track for the run home and Collett was left to take the inside passage some three off the rails, an area of the track that had been avoided earlier due to the Soft 7 conditions after 33mm of rain on Friday evening.
Gem Song had only raced on Good rated tracks before, but the colt made good ground nevertheless catching the leaders with 150m to run. He then went forward to win by a long neck over Purple Sector (NZ) (Pins) and Tom Marquand who made ground conversely as the wides runner.
Third was Charge (Zoustar) and High Bowman, the margin a neck, with the $1.70 favourite Sandbar fourth.
The time was 1.12.42 with the final 600m in 35.46. Gem Song paid $5.00 on fixed odds and $4.90 on the tote.
“It is good to see him win a stakes race for Gooree, he is a really nice colt, he has a lot of upside. He had one trial going into this race and he looked to be struggling coming to the corner. Jason switched back to the inside where he did not want to be, but he had no option and he really lengthened when Jason put him under pressure,” said Lees.
Lees said that he expected the colt to stretch out over further distance and that he is helped by a ‘laid back’ nature.
“He is a very nice horse, Kris has given him the time and each prep he has come back stronger. He is really turning into a good horse,” said Collett.
Gem Song, out of the Peintre Celebre mare Beautiful Gem, now has four wins and two placings from his six starts with stakes earnings of $304,095.
Gem Song, picture Stevehart.com.au
Eskimo Prince Stakes, photo finish picture ATC