Group One Winner for Foxwedge

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Newgate Farm’s foundation sire Foxwedge picked the big stage to post his first Group I winner when ultra-consistent three year-old filly Foxplay downed the older mares to win the $1million Group I ATC Coolmore Legacy Queen of the Turf Stakes at Randwick on Saturday.

A multiple Group II winner for the Chris Waller stable, the Star Thoroughbreds owned filly is a tenacious fighter that always gives of her best and it was no surprise to anyone when she pulled out the biggest run of her career today.

Under a cool rode from Kerrin McEvoy, Foxplay covered ground, but found the line to win the 1600 metre contest by half a length over Zanbagh.

Waller was at a fork in the road with Foxplay after her last start fourth in the Group I ATC Vinery Stakes at 2000 metres - either push on to the Group I ATC Australian Oaks (2400m) or come back in distance to the Group I ATC Coolmore Legacy (1600m) against older horses.

Ironically it was the same dilemma he was faced with when Winx finished fifth in the 2015 Vinery Stud Stakes.

Winx subsequently ran second to Gust Of Wind in that year's Australian Oaks – her last defeat since the astonishing 17-start winning sequence began.

"I don't really look back on things to tell you the truth. Winx looked like a stayer," Waller said.

The decision on Foxplay was slightly more straight forward.

By brilliant Group I winning sprinter Foxwedge out of a mare unable to win past six furlongs, Foxplay's pedigree alone pointed to the Randwick mile being the more suitable target.

"I didn't have to give it a great deal of thought. I decided not to run her in the Oaks because I still think she's got some brilliance and speed – fortunately we got away with it," Waller said.

"I wouldn't call her the Winx junior but there are a lot of similarities. She started off with a winning bang and had sort of been a bit forgotten.

"She's been a very special horse to us."

She is special for being the first Group I winner for Star Thoroughbreds since Denise Martin took the decision to switch her business from long-time friend and champion trainer Gai Waterhouse to Chris Waller.

A $160,000 Magic Millions purchase for Star Thoroughbreds from the Newgate Farm draft, Foxplay runs for a big syndicate of enthusiastic owners and has now won $1.2 million in prizemoney with five wins and three seconds from 13 starts.

“She is best mates with Winx back at the stables as they are boxed together and we hoped something might rub off,” said a delighted Denise Martin, who revealed this was the 12th Group I success for Star Thoroughbreds.

“She’s a determined little madam. She just wants to win.”

Bred by SF Bloodstock, Foxplay is the third winner from three foals to race from imported stakes-winner Butters (USA), a daughter of leading sire El Prado from the family of Group I Breeders Cup Juvenile winner Eliza.

Foxplay is the best of three stakes-winners for Foxwedge, who made a splash with his lone yearling at the Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale last week. The half-sister to stakes-winner Guard of Honour from Victory Cry made $420,000.


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