Sir Peter Vela’s blue and white hooped racing colours are familiar to every racing fan throughout Australasia, and on Thursday they made a significant impact in the northern hemisphere as well with a Group Three win by the exciting colt Eminent (Frankel).
A winner of his only previous start in September last year, Eminent took a big step up in class for the Craven Stakes (1600m) at Newmarket – a traditional lead-up to the prestigious Group 1 2000 Guineas (1600m) at the same course on May 7.
The exciting Vela-owned colt rose to the occasion, emerging from midfield driving to the lead about 200 metres from home. He stayed on strongly to the line to win by an emphatic length and a quarter, denting some big reputations in the process. His time was 1:35.15 – the fastest Craven Stakes in 50 years.
"He just stays and that is the thing," trainer Martyn Meade said. "We have always been worried about his trip as to what it really would be. He doesn't quicken too much but he just stays.
"He was not 100 per cent wound up today, but I didn't want to overdo him as it is a trial after all. He was coming here for a trial, not to say this was his big day. It is tremendously significant."
The undefeated Eminent is now considered to be one of the leading contenders for the 2000 Guineas.
Bred by Premier Bloodstock, Eminent is by the unbeaten champion galloper Frankel – sire of Pencarrow’s sale-topping colt at Karaka 2016. The dam is the Kingmambo mare You’ll Be Mine, who placed in the Group 1 Ascot Fillies’ Mile.
Close relatives also include the Gr. 1 Pretty Polly Stakes winner Diamondsandrubies (Fastnet Rock) and the Irish 1000 Guineas heroine Yesterday (Sadler’s Wells).