*Article by Mark Smith breednet
The Sea The Stars import Just Fine (IRE) has cut a swathe through the staying talent in Sydney with three wins from as many starts, culminating in Saturday’s Group 1 James Squire Metropolitan Hcp on a day of domination from Tulloch Lodge.
Given a peach of a ride by Rachel King, Just Fine (IRE) tracked the leader Spirit Ridge, and the duo settled down to a stirring length of the straight duel.
The 8-year-old Nathaniel (IRE) gelding Spirit Ridge (GB) surrendered in the final few strides, but this was a day for Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott.
Just Fine (IRE) defeated Spirit Ridge (GB) by a head with a gap of four and a quarter lengths to the War Commnd 7-year-old Kalapour (IRE) to complete a European sweep. I’m delighted for the horse, for everyone involved, there’s a lot of people. For My Racehorse to support us is a unique ownership opportunity that can touch many people,” Adrian Bott said.
“Hopefully, it’s a popular win, I'm glad we were able to deliver. It was a thrilling finish. I wasn’t sure we were going to get the upper hand. It was tough, well done to the horse. Bott indicated the 5-year-old gelding ill head to Melbourne.
“I think we might have to, it’s hard to deny it after that,” he said.
“He just continues to improve and go the right way for us and he opened up more options for him today staying that trip.
“It’s been a fantastic day. There’s a lot of work going in. A lot of team behind us to get us here today, a lot of planning and preparation. Owners to give us the opportunities to get here, so there’s lots that has got to fall into place, conditions on the day.
“We will get home and debrief and have a champagne then.”
Rachel King said the son of Sea The Stars silenced those who doubted he would stay.
“I think that proves he stays 2400m," King said. "Funny when I spoke to Gai (Waterhouse) this morning, not that I had a question mark about the 2400m, but a question mark people had. I just mentioned that, and she said, ‘Where was this horse born?’ I said ‘England’, and she said ‘Exactly, your home town. Of course, he’ll stay.’ Gai and Adrian couldn’t have given me any more confidence. The whole team at home have put a lot of effort into this horse, and all that work has helped him to adapt so quickly.”
Just Fine (IRE) advances his record to six wins, a second and two thirds from 17 starts, with earnings of $726,280.
Purchased for 300,000gns by Mckeever Bloodstock / Waterhouse Bott Racing at the 2022 Autumn Horses In Training Sale, Just Fine (IRE) is a half-brother to Group II placed hurdler. Perseus Way.
He is the best of four winners from five to race for Kingmambo mare Bint Almatar, a half-sister to multiple Group II winner and Group 1 Two Thousand Guineas runner-up Master Of The Seas and Group III UAE Oaks winner Falls Of Lora (Street Cry), dam of Godolphin’s triple Group 1 winner and $8million earner Cascadian (New Approach).
Just Fine (IRE) is the 20th Group 1 winner for Gilltown Stud’s champion Sea The Stars, who commands a fee of €180,000.