The first to strike was Hit The Bid, the winner of the G3 Curragh Stakes last season, who landed his second Stakes race in the Listed Midsummer Sprint Stakes at Cork. The three-year-old son of Exceed And Excel was well away from stall one and was never far from the pace, before asserting in the final furlong for a three-quarter-of-a-length success.
Bred by W and R Barnett Ltd, he is the son of the Stakes-winning Selkirk mare Selinka and a grandson of he Carnarvon Stakes heroine Lady Links.
Less than an hour later the other side of the Irish sea, Helmet’s first-crop son Eqtiraan won his first Stakes race in the Listed Cathedral Stakes. Third in the G3 Solario Stakes as a juvenile, he had been tried over a mile at the start of the season without success. Sprinting though looks to be his optimum conditions and he ran on really well to record a neck triumph over more seasoned, older performers.
Bred by Victor Stud Bloodstock and Brendan Cummins, he is a son of the Cape Cross mare Miranda Frost, who is a half-sister to G1 sprinter Majestic Missile. Miranda Frost also has a two-year-old filly by Iffraaj, named Broken Time, and a yearling filly by Slade Power.
Eqtiraan becomes the fifth Stakes winner of the season for Helmet after Classic hero’s Thunder Snow and Anda Muchacho, Newmarket listed winner Taamol and Australian Group-winner juvenile Limestone.
Exceed And Excel will be standing this season at a fee of $110,000 at Kelvinside, NSW while his son Helmet is at Northwood Park, VIC at a fee of $16,500.