|Jockey Teodore Nugent notched his maiden Group One win at Caulfield today when star three-year-old colt Portland Sky scored a brave dead heat win in the Oakleigh Plate (1100m).|
At his first ever ride at racing’s elite level, Nugent was able to hit the line locked together with William Pike aboard the Bob Peters bred and owned Celebrity Queen.
It was a unique result indeed with the dead heaters flying the flag for Western Australia – Portland Sky bred in the west by Anita Vale Stud.
Portland Sky, an $85,000 Perth Yearling Sale purchase for trainer Matt Laurie from the Alwyn Park Stud draft, is a rising star among three-year-olds in Australia.
The Deep Field colt was a group winner either side of a down the track effort at Eagle Farm when on a Magic Millions Guineas campaign.
With the Queensland campaign aborted after the Eagle Farm run, Portland Sky returned to Victoria and he’s since won the Group Three Manfred Stakes and now a dead heat win in the Oakleigh Plate.
“I’m more than happy to share this,” a delighted Matt Laurie said. “I wasn’t sure (if he did enough) but the horse went enormous and I couldn’t be more proud of the horse and the team.”
“I’m extremely happy for Teo,” Laurie added. “It’s just a fantastic result.”
For Nugent, the excitement of a first Group One victory left the talented young hoop the happiest man on course.
“It seemed a long way from the post from the 50 (metre mark) when I heard the Wizard (Pike) blowing down my neck.”
“My horse took me a long way into it and full credit to Matt Laurie and the team for bringing the horse here today and we’ll share a dead heat.”
“He had a great turn of foot when I asked him. He’s got some great form around him with Tagaloa and Aysar.”
“I’m so thrilled,” Nugent added. “I’ve got a big team behind me and while it was a dead heat, it was a Group One at the end of the day and the emotions are coming.”
Portland Sky now joins the likes of Scenic Shot, Ancient Song and Elite Street as Group One winners bred by Robert and Ann Anderson’s Anita Vale Stud at Mardella in Western Australia.
The Anderson’s sold the colt through the draft of John Andrew’s Alwyn Park Stud at the first Magic Millions Perth Yearling Sale in the new Swan Valley complex in 2019.
Portland Sky is the first Group One winner for leading sire Deep Field and is from a lightly raced daughter of Shrewd Rhythm who is a half sister to London Line (later Most Beautiful in Hong Kong).
The Anita Vale Stud bred star Scenic Shot is a half brother to Portland Sky’s second dam Line of Flight.
The Oakleigh Plate dead heat win of Portland Sky provided one of many highlights on a cracking Caulfield card for Magic Millions sold gallopers.
Earlier Artorius produced a sensational last to first performance to capture the Group One Blue Diamond Stakes for Sam and Anthony Freedman and Luke Currie.
The wins of Artorius and Portland Sky were celebrated by the team from Newgate Farm who stand their respective sires Flying Artie and Deep Field.
Meanwhile, Yes Baby Yes and Paradee, who both campaigned over the Magic Millions Carnival on the Gold Coast, returned to Melbourne to win Group Two features – the Angus Armanasco Stakes and Peter Young Stakes respectively.
Winner: Portland Sky
Breeding: Deep Field-Sky Rumba (Shrewd Rhythm)
Race: MRC Oakleigh Plate G1 (1100m)
Sold for: $85,000
Sale: 2019 Magic Millions Perth Yearling Sale
Vendor: Alwyn Park Stud (As Agent)
Buyer: Matt Laurie Racing
Earnings: $440,075Owner(s): MD Laurie, CJ Bourke, DV Mustica, Mrs EA Bresnehan, Mrs KD Treweek, Martin Thoroughbred Racing (Mgr: JRD Martin), Carringbush Park (Mgr: M Laurie) & MBI Racing (Mgr: JM Mills)Trainer: Matt Laurie (Mornington)