Lightning Winner Eyes Royal Ascot

Jamie Kah grabs another Gr1 score

Superstar race filly Coolangatta is eyeing a Royal Ascot campaign after a stunning first up win in Saturday’s Gr1 A$1 million Lightning Stakes run over 1000m at Flemington.

Having her first start since late October when a brave fifth in the Coolmore Stud Stakes, Coolangatta sat off the speed set by stablemate Marabi and hot favourite Nature Strip before sweeping to the lead a furlong out.

Jamie Kah steers Coolangatta to victory (Pic – Magic Millions)

Under the urgings of Jamie Kah, the bonny filly, a former winner of the Magic Millions 2YO Classic, was able to notch her second open age sprint Group One win at just start number eight.

The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace trained star became the first filly to win the Lightning in almost two decades and in the process sent her earnings over the A$3 million barrier.

“Unbelievable,” Eustace beamed. “She was so impressive. She traveled into it so well. She’s had a faultless prep. The team has done an amazing job. It’s a great thrill.”

“We were really confident she’d improved. Physically she’s bigger and stronger. She’s heavier and we thought she’d improved from the spring to now, and from two to three.”

“With that in mind this had been the race targeted for a long while now. It’s just fantastic to get another winner for Ozzie and John.”

“Ozzie is on the sofa – that is where we like him. They tend to win when he’s on the couch and John is leading them in. They don’t tend to win when he’s here on course.”

“They’re a great group and it’s a great thrill. A really well judged and timed ride from Jamie. She let her travel deep into the race and didn’t push the button too soon and she was pretty convincing.”

Jamie Kah – another cracking ride!

“From here the dream would be Royal Ascot for everyone involved. She’s shown she likes the straight and I think everyone in the group would be keen to go there.”

“Where she goes next, I’m not sure but ultimately we’d love to give that a crack,” Eustace added.

Winning rider Jamie Kah said she was amazed at the amount of development Coolangatta had made during her latest spell.

“I’ve said it in my interviews leading up to this race, I thought she’d reached her peak last prep and I thought it was still a very good peak. I didn’t see her improving that much more, but she’s just come back better and bigger and stronger.”

“I thought she would run second today honestly, I didn’t think she would be able to beat Nature Strip. The race did shape out for her, there was pressure early, but she is half the size of him (Nature Strip) and she just does things she shouldn’t do, she is just an amazing horse.”

“She had a turn of foot. She’s been doing everything fast and just hanging on. But today, she waited off of them and had a turn of foot. There were some very good horses in that race and I’m just proud of her, she is just a ripper!”

“It’s massive. It is a great race to win. I’ve had some amazing support since I won the Lightning two years ago,” Kah added. “I can’t believe the ride I am on, I’m very appreciative.”

A daughter of superstar Yulong based sire Written Tycoon, Coolangatta was bred by John Warren’s Highclere Stud and sold through the Milburn Creek draft at the 2021 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale for A$280,000.

She is from the Sydney two-year-old winning More Than Ready mare Piping Hot who has produced two winners from as many runners. Her other winner is the multiple Sydney winner Snitzonfire.

Piping Hot is a daughter of the Moonee Valley Oaks winner Ribe and is therefore a half sister to Blue Diamond Stakes winner Reaan.

  • Winner: Coolangatta
  • Breeding: Written Tycoon-Piping Hot (More Than Ready)
  • Breeder: Highclere Stud Australia
  • Race: VRC Lightning Stakles Gr1 (1000m)
  • Sold for: A$280,000
  • Sale: 2021 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale
  • Vendor: Milburn Creek (As Agent)
  • Buyer: Ciaron Maher Bloodstock
  • Earnings: A$3,077,500
  • Owners: JA O’Neill, A Kheir, BD Nettlefold, D Edmonds, Ms KL Solomon, V Kheir, Carty Racing (Mgr: BC Carty), Mrs DA Bourne, Group 1 Bloodstock (Mgr: MP Becker), AP Scafidi, Yes Bloodstock & Solscaf Racing (Mgr: AJ Scafidi)
  • Trainers: Ciaron Maher & David Eustace (Cranbourne)

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