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  • Provincial Racing NSW


Updated: Apr 9

COULD it be a winning omen?

Kembla Grange trainer Ben Smith, then based at Newcastle, captured his second Group 1 success in the space of a fortnight when $81 bolter El Dorado Dreaming won the Sires (1400m) at Royal Randwick on April 7, 2018.

Exactly six years to the day, Smith yesterday bought her first foal – and was understandably excited to be able to secure him.

A son of Fastnet Rock, he outlaid $200,000 to add the colt to his team.

El Dorado Dreaming’s foal was the only “baby” he wanted at the two-day Inglis Australian Easter yearling sale at the Riverside complex at Warwick Farm.

The colt was very early in the sale (Lot 3), and Smith got him with a single bid.

“I sat back and waited until there were a few other bids, and then put up $200,000, and that was it,” he explained.

“I had been lucky enough to see him with his Mum at Coolmore in the Hunter Valley about a month before the Classic sale in February.

“It wasn’t hard to like him.”

Smith says the youngster is similar to his Group 1 winning dam, but a bit stronger, no doubt due to his sire Fastnet Rock.

“He reminds me a lot of El Dorado Dreaming, and it’s great to be able to train her first foal,” he said.

“He will go straight to the breakers, and I’ll syndicate him and expect my main client ML Racing will take a majority share.”

Bred by Yvonne Pearce, who mated her mare Solanas (whom she bought in foal to Golden Slipper winner Stratum for $35,000), with Ilovethiscity, El Dorado Dreaming was purchased by Coolmore’s Tom Magnier for $1.35m at the 2021 Inglis Chairman’s sale.

Unfortunately, she didn’t get in foal to Fastnet Rock the first time, but foaled this colt by him the following season, and also has a weanling filly (foaled on August 25 last year) by the same stallion.

. Smith has two runners – Herb and Vieste – at Tuesday’s home track meeting, and has booked fellow Kembla Grange trainer Kerry Parker’s apprentice Jess Del Frari to ride them.

Herb resumes in the 4YO & Up Benchmark 64 Handicap (1200m), and Vieste contests the Provincial Class 1 Handicap (1500m).

“I’ve had Herb now for one and a half preparations, and he was always giving the impression he would run 1600m,” Smith said.

“But he can’t, so I’ve changed his training this time in work.

“I’ll keep him fresh and space his runs, and run him over shorter trips.”

Smith had hoped Vieste would emerge as an Australian Oaks contender at Randwick on Saturday, but said nothing had gone right for her this campaign.

“I’ve taken blinkers off the filly, and Jess’ 3kg claim will be very handy,” he said.

“Jess has been riding some work for me, and deserves to get opportunities from our stable.”


HOOFNOTE: Whilst Smith won his maiden Group 1 with In Her Time in The Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 24, 2018, he is adamant she should have given him a third major in the TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) only two races after El Dorado Dreaming had taken the Sires.

“Damian Lane (gun Melbourne jockey) came down the outside on El Dorado Dreaming to grab the Sires, but had no luck at all getting clear room on In Her Time, who ran third to Trapeze Artist and Redzel,” he recalled.

“I haven’t forgotten it.”

Story John Curtis, April 8, 2024 - Pics Bradley Photos

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