Sunday, May 1, 2011


The gutsy win by City of Song (above) in Saturday’s Blue Sapphire Stakes-LR at Caulfield was a ‘banner’ performance for Eliza Park.
The 11th stakes winner for her Champion Sire, Bel Esprit, City of Song was bred by long-time client, Colin Beggs, and is raced by Colin and family, but this promising filly is also a shining example of the Eliza Park’s ‘services’.
For starters, City of Song – from the stakes winning Umatilla mare Songs of Vienna – was born at Eliza Park and reared at the property.
Although Colin (wisely) opted to race the filly, City of Song was both broken in at Eliza Park and pre-trained by the racing division, before heading to the Caulfield stables of John Moloney.
John has a high opinion of the filly and is aiming her at the spring carnival, particularly the Group One Thousand Guineas.
“There were some nice colts in this field and back in fillies grade you’d think she would be suited in some nice races during the spring,” John explained. “We’ll give her a break over the winter and take her up north of the divide for some sun.
“She’s a really good filly that’s going to be better in the spring.”
City of Song has now raced on four occasions for two wins – scoring on debut over 1000m at Sandown on 2 March – and would have to be considered very unlucky not to be unbeaten after thirds at Caulfield (beaten 1.2 lengths) and Moonee Valley.
Jason Benbow, who was onboard in the Blue Sapphire, would not have considered his previous Caulfield ride on the filly one of his best when City of Song was caught in a pocket in the race that was won by subsequent Golden Slipper runnerup Mosheen.
Still, all was forgiven on Saturday when the filly fought on strongly to get the money.
Interestingly, in the four year history of the Blue Sapphire Stakes, Eliza Park stallions have been victorious on three occasions: Gold in Dubai (Desert Sun) was the inaugural race, while Black Caviar (Bel Esprit) won it two years ago.
Fortunately for Colin Beggs, Eliza Park will sell – on his behalf – a Magnus half brother to City of Song (pictured below) at the Magic Millions National Yearling Sale on the Gold Coast in June.
Songs of Vienna has also produced a multiple city winning sister to City of Song in Music in the Park and was a more than handy racemare in her own right, taking out the The Straight Six-LR at Flemington and being multiple stakes placed.
A half sister to Group Two winner Hadabeclorka, Songs of Vienna is also closely related to 4-time Kiwi stakes winner Red Chiffon.

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