Emerging three-year-old Eurozone (Northern Meteor – Miss Vandal, by Don’t Say Halo) provided another glimpse of what might have been for the late Widden Stud stallion Northern Meteor with his win in the Listed Rosebud (1200m) at Rosehill.
Northern Meteor died of colic on July 30; just weeks before he was due to serve his fifth book of mares at the New South Wales property. The sire’s passing cut short what could have been a stud career that matched the brilliance of the son of Encosta De Lago’s racing days.
Northern Meteor sired a Group 1 winner in his first season when Romantic Touch headed a quinella for the sire in the JJ Atkins Stakes (1600m), which proved the highlight of a wonderful opening stanza to his career that earned him the Australian Champion First Season Sire’s title.
Eurozone became the fourth stakes winner to emerge out of Northern Meteor’s first crop when he built on the potential he showed with his wins at Canterbury and Rosehill before a brief break.
Master trainer Bart Cummings and his new partner, grand son James, gave the colt a trial to tune up for The Rosebud but the race itself did not go to plan when jockey Hugh Bowman was left with no option other than take up the running soon after the start, which he said was not ideal.
“He jumped in front, I didn’t push to be there,” Bowman said. “I was just there, although he travelled comfortably.”
Bowman duly set a moderate speed on Eurozone before waiting until the top of the Randwick rise before asking his mount for his best effort but the progeny of another Widden Stud stallion, Sebring’s son Dissident (Sebring – Diana’s Secret, by Anabaa), made a race of it over the final stages.
However, Eurozone drew away from his Peter Moody-trained adversary to give the Cummings men their first stakes win as a partnership. Eurozone’s win also completed a Cummings-trained double for Northern Meteor after Streaking Comet (Northern Meteor – History Maker, by Rubiano) scored narrowly in the Simone Montgomerie Tribute (1400m).
The younger Cummings said the team planned to give Eurozone a chance for a big payday in the $1 million Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill on September 14.
“He will go to the (Group 3 $125,000) The Run To The Rose in three weeks and then into the Golden Rose,” he said.
“He’s a very classy horse and he is entirely deserving of what we are planning to run him in. We keep raising the bar and he jumps it.”
DGR Thoroughbreds paid $110,000 for Eurozone at the 2012 Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling Sale, which already looks to be a bargain. The colt is a three-quarter brother to the Group 2 winner Miss Marielle (Encosta De Lago – Miss Vandal, by Don’t Say Halo) while his dam Miss Vandal (Don’t Say Halo – Zabatac, by Zabaleta) was a two-year-old Group 3 winner in Perth.