At Newcastle yesterday, Gr.1 ATC Oaks-winning trainer John Sargent unearthed a contender for the $500,000 Gr.1 Queensland Oaks later this month when Champion Stage (Mastercraftsman) was successful over 1600m at just her second start.
A half-sister to Gr.1 winner and promising young sire Tavistock (Montjeu), Champion Stage is held in high regard by Sargent who trained Thunder Lady, another daughter of Mastercraftsman, to win the Gr.2 VRC Wakeful Stakes and run second in the Gr.1 VRC Oaks last spring.
Mastercraftsman (Danehill Dancer), also enjoyed trans-Tasman success at the weekend when Master Of Arts and Vallone were successful. Connections of Master Of Arts, who has now won twice from four starts, will target the $600,000 Gr.1 Queensland Derby next month with the promising young stayer.
Meanwhile on Monday in Ireland Mastercraftsman’s first-crop daughter Iveagh Gardens won the Gr.3 Athasi Stakes at the Curragh while his own sire Danehill Dancer (Danehill) enjoyed Classic success with Legatissimo, who produced a powerful finish to win the Gr.1 English 1000 Guineas for 3YO fillies at Newmarket on Sunday.
The tough Legatissimo, who was backing up as well as coming back in distance from a stakes-winning effort in Ireland the previous week, is out of Yummy Mummy, a daughter of the excellent young broodmare sire Montjeu who currently has an exceptional 9.8% stakes winners to runners ratio as a broodmare sire.