2017 Coolmore Stud Stakes Results: Merchant Navy Flies Late

November 4, 2017

2017 Coolmore Stud Stakes Results: Merchant Navy Flies Late

Aaron Purcell continued his successful takeover from the suspended Ciaron Maher with progressive colt Merchant Navy coming from nowhere late in an incredible finish to beat home two fillies in the stallion-making Coolmore Stud Stakes 2017.

Merchant Navy

Merchant Navy came from nowhere to beat two fillies home in the stallion-making 2017 Coolmore Stud Stakes on Derby Day. Photo: Steve Hart.

A winner of his four opening career starts including the Group 3 HDF McNeil Stakes (1200m) in early September, nicely-bred Fastnet Rock colt Merchant Navy suffered his first loss when 10th to Trapeze Artist in the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) in Sydney last time out.

The team quickly set their sights on the Group 1 $1 million Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m), the opening elite level of the Melbourne Cup Carnival run down the Flemington straight on VRC Derby Day.

Merchant Navy was given the freshen-up and brought back down south with Mark Zahra reuniting with the up-and-comer only to enjoy his first Victoria Derby Day winning ride on the upset $19 winner.

Merchant Navy jumped from a wide barrier 15 (of 20) draw in the capacity field of young sprinters and didn’t even come into calculations until just outside the final furlong.

After getting Cismontane into the 2017 Melbourne Cup field via a Lexus Stakes win the race prior, Tulloch Lodge trainers Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott looked to have a winning chance in the Coolmore Stud Stakes with smart filly Invincible Star.

She jumped narrow $5.50 favourite in an open race and hit the front to lead as the field came together in the ‘straight six’ feature.

Invincible Star had the likes of Lindsay Park’s Blue Sapphire Stakes winning filly Formality ($20), runner-up in the same lead-up Jukebox and the previous undefeated James Cummings-trained Viridine chasing.

In the closing stages Invincible Star looked like she would go all-the-way.

Merchant Navy however arrived late on the scene, switching back to the inside late from his midfield position, charging to the line and getting there first ahead of the luckless Invincible Star and the brave Formality.

The surprise Coolmore Stud Stakes winner had to make up over six lengths on the leader to collar her late in the flashing ride after being boxed away at the back of the field early.

“What a thrill, I wasn’t quite sure if I got there or not,” winning hoop Zahra said post-race.

“Thought I was going to run out of time on him but gee he was strong late.

“To not go to the [Ladbrokes Caulfield] Guineas, put the blinkers on, drop back in trip, it’s a great plan that’s come off.

“It’s good for it to all come off and win a big Group 1.

“He’s an exciting colt.”

Purcell was also over the moon with the Coolmore Stud Stakes result, won by a Coolmore-raced colt.

“It’s a stallion making race and obviously he’s a well-bred Fastnet Rock colt,” Purcell said.

“We came here hoping he’d become a Group 1 winning sprinter and it’s come off.”

Stay tuned for the future racing career of Merchant Navy, checking out all the latest spring racing carnival odds and offers on the upcoming Group 1s online through Ladbrokes.com.au.

2017 Coolmore Stud Stakes Results & Finishing Order

Flemington Race 5 – 04/11/2017

Place # Horse Trainer Jockey Margin Br. Weight SP
1 8 MERCHANT NAVY Aaron Purcell Mark Zahra 15 57kg $19
2 19 INVINCIBLE STAR Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott Stephen Baster 0.2L 7 55kg $6.50EF
3 18 FORMALITY David & B Hayes & T Dabernig Kerrin McEvoy 0.3L 2 55kg $20
4 20 LIMESTONE Darren Weir Dean Yendall 2.3L 19 55kg $61
5 5 VIRIDINE James Cummings Brenton Avdulla 2.8L 1 57kg $10
6 9 DRACARYS Peter & Paul Snowden Regan Bayliss 2.9L 20 57kg $41
7 12 MALAHAT James Cummings Olivier Peslier 3.4L 8 57kg $201
8 13 ANDAZ Chris Waller Ben Melham 3.8L 14 57kg $51
9 15 HOUTZEN Toby Edmonds Jeff Lloyd 4.2L 5 55kg $10
10 17 TULIP David & B Hayes & T Dabernig Jamie Spencer 5.95L 13 55kg $17
11 11 LONE EAGLE Mick Price Dwayne Dunn 6.25L 11 57kg $51
12 10 EPTIMUM Toby Edmonds Ryan Maloney 6.45L 4 57kg $17
13 7 GOODFELLA Bjorn Baker Jason Collett 6.55L 9 57kg $31
14 6 JUKEBOX Aaron Purcell Craig Williams 6.75L 3 57kg $26
15 1 TRAPEZE ARTIST Gerald Ryan Tye Angland 7.15L 18 57kg $6.50EF
16 2 KEMENTARI James Cummings Damian Lane 7.35L 12 57kg $10
17 14 WASSERGEIST Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young Glen Boss 7.45L 16 57kg $201
18 16 CATCHY David & B Hayes & T Dabernig Hugh Bowman 7.65L 17 55kg $7.50
19 4 SUMMER PASSAGE Lance O’Sullivan & Andrew Scott Blake Shinn 12.65L 10 57kg $41
20 3 THE MISSION Paul Perry Noel Callow 13.65L 6 57kg $201

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