Philippi steps into Philda's winning shoes

Sep 15, 2012

Just weeks after the retirement of one of the stable's favourite and most durable gallopers Philda, along comes another good one from his family - his "nephew" Philippi looking extra smart winning at debut at Mornington on August 30 and going right on with it at Moonee Valley on Saturday.

Getting back in a fast run race, the exciting three-year-old needed luck from his position on the rails at the 600m but when a gap appeared Luke Nolen quickly had him out in pouncing position.

"They really went along," Michael Kent said, "and you could see on the corner that he was going to be in the mix."

Hooking out as they swung for home, Philippi swamped his rivals over the final stages - drawing clear to salute by just short of a length in good time... just 0.75 seconds off the record, a top effort for a horse having just his second start.

And who should hold that record? Philda!

Always well regarded by the stable, Philippi has that lovely, long action we favour - "he really puts his head down and lengthens," Kent said - "he is a really nice horse."

Bred to improve with age, Philippi is, according to both Kent and jockey Luke Nolen still immature.

"He's a real baby still," Kent said, Nolen agreeing - "he has it all ahead of him."

Nolen was taken by the way in which Philippi finished off the 1500m contest.

"He was very strong through the latter stages of the race," he said, adding that the Rick Jamieson ( owned and bred colt would be even better over longer.

"He is bred for ten furlongs," Kent said, "but I could see him running a Derby distance - he is a beautiful, relaxed horse."

Whether he will be mature enough this time in for a Derby test remains to be seen with Kent favouring a light spring campaign.

"He is very backward so how far he can go this preparation I don't know - I really fancy him for the autumn."

Favoured options at this stage include a Listed event over 1800m in three week's time or a freshen-up for a crack at the Carbine Club Stakes during Cup Week.

A son of Swettenham Stud's dual Gr.1 winning Hussonet stallion Host, Philippi is the third foal produced by the lightly raced Encosta de Lago mare Soorena.

Also dam of the sprint winner Ra Ikane and the Singapore winner The Rude Warrior,  Soorena - a half sister to Philda - had just the one start, winning an Echuca maiden by 3 1/2 lengths.

Served last spring by Host, she is a descendant of the wonderful broodmare Dark Jewel, dam of the outstanding sprinter/miler Baguette.