Darley stallions made a brilliant start to Saturday’s Sandown Hillside meeting by producing the first three winners on a competitive day’s racing.
Shamardal (Giant’s Causeway – Helsinki, by Machiavellian) filly Bulbula (Shamardal – Taameer, by General Nediym) showed a terrific turn of the speed to become the 45th stakes winner for the European-based stallion in the Listed Merson Cooper Stakes (1000m).
Bulbula surprised even her trainer David Hayes with her pace from the barriers before the two-year-old maintained the effort to score a strong debut win.
“It was really good. It surprised me she could lead so easily,” Hayes said. “She has always showed a bit of speed at home but she got her own way in front.
“It’s a long straight and she kept kicking all the way down the straight.”
Bernardini (A P Indy – Cara Rafaela, by Quiet American) filly Mediung (Bernardini – Amish, by Canny Lad) followed Bulbula’s performance with a big finish to claim the Listed Twilight Glow Stakes (1400m). Bulbula carried the Shadwell Australia colours to victory in the opening event but Meidung’s rider Kerrin McEvoy bore Darley’s maroon and white silks as Meidung recovered from initially appearing to be in trouble halfway up the running to score what turned out to be a comfortable win.
Ibicenco (Shirocco – Iberi, by Rainbow Quest) became the eighth stakes winner for Darley’s Dalham Hall Stud resident Shirocco (Monsun – So Sedulous, by The Minstrel) when the Luca Cumani-trained performer outstayed his opposition to win the Listed Sandown Cup (3200m).
The OTI Racing-owned stayer provided Shirocco with his first Australian stakes winner with his strong effort.