Saint makes Mark at Aust debut

Sep 02, 2012

Lightly raced four-year-old St Mark impressed at his Australian debut at Ballarat on Sunday, the former New Zealander charging home to win over 1400m at his first run since February.

Settling last on the heavy track, the son of Redoute's Choice stallion swung out widest at the turn - taking a few strides to warm up but really letting go to draw clear by a length late.

A two times winner from his first seven starts in New Zealand, St Marks - named after the St Marks Breast Centre which was established by his owner, prominent surgeon Dr John Harman, the bay was purchased for him as a yearling for $NZ42,000 by Phill Cataldo.

"He is a nice horse," Michael Kent said, "who should go through his grades - the country cups over the spring look a nice aim for him."

A descendant of the acclaimed matriarch Chelandry who has been making her mark upon the Australian thoroughbred for generations, St Mark is a son of the Gr.3 placed six times winner Cruella.

Also dam of St Mark's two times winning full sister Hassle Free and the six times Macau winner Best Reputed horse, Cruella is a full sister to the stakes placed Kizkardes.

In other stable news, we were very pleased with the return of the Melbourne Cup bound Unusual Suspect (pictured) in the Listed Slickpix Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday - the nine-year-old finishing on gamely out wide for ninth, just over four lengths from the winner.

Having his first start since a four start Dubai campaign last autumn, the good-looking entire heads to the Naturalism Stakes or the JRA Trophy next start with the Bart Cummings Stakes in early October his first step up to a staying trip.