Eagle Falls confirmed his status as one of the country’s leading sprinters when he steamed home to win the Group One $402,000 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield this afternoon.
Perfectly ridden off the speed by Damien Oliver, Eagle Falls was able to end a Group One drought for Hayes – giving him his first win in the feature autumn sprint.
“We’ve had a bit of a quiet run,” Hayes reported. “We really fancied this horse today.”
“He got the brakes – he certainly didn’t get them last time.”
“He loved the high speed (today). I’m not sure what time they ran – but I’m sure they went quick.”
“The blinkers first time in a big race did the trick which is nice.”
“He needed to find a length (from his last run) and he raced on the inside of them like he needed blinkers.”
“He’s a terrific horse. He should have been very competitive in Dubai – he got absolutely flattened.”
Hayes said the gelding would almost certainly have his next run in the Group One Newmarket Handicap against highly regarded mare Black Caviar.
“If he steps out in the Newmarket in a couple of weeks I’m sure he’ll be up there with the better ones.”
“I don’t think that Peter (Moody) will run her,” Hayes added with a laugh. “Let’s hope not anyway!”
Champion jockey Damien Oliver waved his whip to the crowd as he flew past the winning post aboard Eagle Falls.
“David’s been having a tough run lately and he’s got to take a lot of credit for putting the blinkers on the horse – it was the winning move,” Oliver said.
“They (the blinkers) really made him travel up at the business end of the race and he’s been consistent at the top level without winning a big one – so he really deserves it.”
“He put the writing on the wall a bit the other day and the blinkers as I said was the winning move and it’s great to win a good one for Hayesy and also Rupert Legh and Andrew Ramsden and a lot of the other owners who’ve been great supporters of mine,” OIliver added.
Eagle Falls, now having earned almost $1 million, was purchased as a yearling by Mark Pilkington for $170,000 from the 2007 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale. The Hussonet gelding was bred and sold by Corumbene Stud.
He is the third Australian Group One winner by Hussonet – following in the hoofsteps of Weekend Hussler (who led the Oakleigh field out today) and Blue Diamond winner Reaan. Another Australian bred Gold Trail is a Group One winner in New Zealand.
Eagle Falls is one of two winners produced by the well related Desert King mare Desina – a Sydney winner over 1100 metres.
Desina, who is from the triple stakes winning Prego mare Presina, is a half sister to the stakes performed juvenile Faster Pussycat.
Further back his is the same family as group winners including Seto Flowerian, Dan De Lago and Brindabella.
Winner: Eagle Falls (Hussonet-Desina)
Race: MRC Oakleigh Plate G1 (1100m)
Sold for: $170,000
Sale: 2007 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale
Vendor: Corumbene Stud (As Agent)
Buyer: Mark Pilkington Bloodstock
Owner(s): R & C Legh Racing Pty Ltd Syndicate (Mgrs: R & Mrs C Legh), W Mitchell, M & Mrs M Calman, N & Mrs J Griffin & Gurners Bloodstock Co Syndicate (Mgr: AP Ramsden)
Trainer: David Hayes (Flemington)