So the Balmont’s are up and running!
And it’s just what we expected.
Balmont was a brilliant juvenile himself winning both the time-honoured Group 1 Middle Park Stakes and Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes in England.
He then trained on to match it with the UK’s best older sprinters. The authoritive English Racing Post described him as: ‘High class from 2 to 5 years.’
Then, of course, Balmont’s half brother, Eskendereya, was a sensation in the U.S.
Eskendereya won the Listed Pilgrim Stakes by 7 1/4 lengths in his juvenile year.
As a 3Y0 he won the Group 2 Fountain Of Youth Stakes by 8 1/2 lengths in Florida and the Group 1 Wood Memorial Stakes by 9 3/4 lengths in New York.
Eskendereya was an odds on favourite for the Kentucky Derby and considered to have the Run For The Roses at his mercy.
But he suffered a leg injury on race eve and was withdrawn.
Andy Beyer, who has devised an industry-leading racehorse rating system, described Eskendereya the best 3Y0 to race in the U.S. for the past 10 years.
As a result of all this the Balmont’s were expected to be natural’s. And they are.
Park Lane, from Kirov Ballet, by Dauberval, was second to unbeaten Miss Solis in the 1000m Westspeed 2Y0 Plate, the State’s first juvenile race of the season, after having just one 400m barrier trial and when held-up approaching the 200m.
He was given a good chance of reversing the placings last Saturday but was withdrawn pre-race showing sings of shin soreness.
Park Lane is currently having a break at Lynward Park and is one to follow later in the year. Kirov Ballet was a dual 2Y0 winner and a ‘good thing beaten’ when third in the Listed Gimcrack Stakes.
Then Korolenko came out and won a 1000m trial in 1.02.08 on Monday.
Korolenko is from Secret Pact, by Bletchley Park. Secret Pact is a sister to Magic Filly and a half-sister to Magic Zem, the dam of Superscenic.
Magic Filly has won nine times in South Africa, including the Group 2 Senor Santa Handicap and the Group 3 Tommy Hotspur Handicap. Superscenic’s 12 wins in WA were headed by the Listed York Handicap.
While these most encouraging early signs were taking place in Perth, Balmont Mast, from Balmont’s Irish matings, followed up two wins, both at 5 1/2 furlongs, with a third in the Listed Mercury Stakes at Dundalk.
Balmont Mast’s half-sister, Crazee Mental, is the dam of Premio Loco, the champion older miler in Germany in 2009. His wins included the Group 2 Oettingen Rennen and Europa Meile in Germany and the Group 2 Park Stakes and Summer Mile, Group 3 Criterion Stakes and Listed On The House Stakes and Ladybird Stakes in England.
Balmont has gained early UK success being mated with grand-daughters of Mill Reef. This suggests that owners of mares by Marooned should seriously consider sending them to Balmont.
Remember, Balmont did not serve big books in WA when shuttling between here and Ireland. He is now based permanently in WA.