Liam Howley and Fred W Kersley teamed up for an early Mornington Cup Day match with Virtuous Circle upsetting some of the more legendary rivals at the Mornington Sires.
Almanzor’s son, who stayed out of the field for $61, overtook a $2.20-backed Do It La favorite by a short half-head in the $130,000 over 1500 meter event.
The result turned out to be a stellar race for Howley, who bought both winner and third place Highland Harley ($31) in last year’s sale.
“We go to the market to buy the horses we want, that’s the motto of starting very early and we have had great support from a number of great customers,” Howley said.
“That first run (by Virtuous Circle) was amazing. He did exactly what we wanted him to do and he has continued since. Although he is not confident, we know he will do well today. Both (horses) run superbly”.
Virtuous Circle was $360,000 at last year’s Inglis Classic Sale, while Highland Harley was $100,000 at Inglis Premier.
Mornington Sires is just the second career start for Virtuous Circle, who finished last runner-up in the Pakenham 2YO Maiden at launch, and Kersley said he benefited greatly from that outing and owes a lot to it. in victory.
“Last time at Pakenham, he didn’t know what it was about,” Kersley said.
“Today we were forced to come back from the draw. During the run, the tempo slowed a bit and made it very difficult for us to find the rhythm.
“Even though we had the tracks, it was very difficult for a horse to start a second race.”
Disappointed with the race was Yaki Ishi, morning race favorite, who slipped slightly to start a $2.35 second race, but was only able to take fifth place, almost four degrees. longer than the winner.
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