Jun 14, 2016
There had been plenty of money around to suggest that Southerly Wind was ready to run a big race at his Flemington debut on Saturday, the two-year-old so well supported that he ended up being a short priced favourite in the Eugene Gorman Handicap.
And from the start his supporters were happy, Southerly Wind quickly into the stride, making the pace and giving a good kick with 200m to go - his winning margin a soft and impressive three lengths.
Already a fan of the young horse, having ridden him in all his track work and jump-outs at home, stable apprentice Jake Bayliss was understandably excited by the performance.
"He is definitely above average," he enthused, adding that "he has given me a really good feel ever since the first time I sat on him."
Happy to be in the lead, Jake said that Southerly Wind was undaunted by the Flemington straight - "it can be intimidating their first time but he was quite confident."
"I couldn't wait to get to the 200m to give him a squeeze and when I did he put them away very nicely."
Michael Kent was not surprised by the win but very happy - "he has always looked like a natural two-year-old runner," he said of the son of Zoffany.
"He is a good, sound, fast horse who has done everything right and whilst he is so happy and healthy we will look for another race for him."
Purchased privately by the stable after his breeder Maurice Messara passed away, Southerly Wind is the first runner for the three times winning Denon mare Folichonne.
Served last spring by Kuroshio having produced a colt by him in late September, Folichonne is a daughter of the metropolitan winner Belle Frimousse from the family of one of Maurice Messara's best gallopers Mic Mac.
It is apt that stable supervisor Barry Barnes owns a share of Southerly Wind, Barry having trained for Maurice Messara for a number of years.
And one of the talented horses under his care was Southerly Wind's grandam Belle Frimousse who back in 2002 was the first leg of Barry's first metropolitan double when successful at Sandown.
Photo by Darryl Sherer.