Geriatrix shines on Australian debut

Geriatrix shines on Australian debut1 Jun 2024

New Zealand three-year-old Geriatrix made a big impression when making his Australian debut at Eagle Farm on Saturday, albeit not in the race his trainers Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott had hoped for.

The Almanzor colt headed across the Tasman as a three-race winner from nine starts, most recently at Rotorua on May 11, and he had also produced strong finishes to be close up behind the placegetters in the Gr.3 Wellington Stakes (1600m), Gr.2 Wellington Guineas (1400m) and Gr.3 Cambridge Breeders’ Stakes (1200m).

That career record and his $86,285 in prize-money put Geriatrix in fourth on the ballot for his intended first Australian start in Saturday’s A$300,000 Gr.3 Fred Best Classic (1400m). O’Sullivan and Scott opted for the A$85,000 HKJC Handicap (1400m) as their Plan B, and they came away with a perfect consolation result.

Geriatrix was patiently ridden by expat Kiwi jockey Michael Dee, who settled him near the tail of the field before unleashing him down the outside in the straight. The Kiwi colt swept past his rivals in the last 300m and scored impressively by half a length.

O’Sullivan and Scott are now hoping to step Geriatrix up into black-type company for the A$200,000 Gr.3 Gunsynd Classic (1600m) at Eagle Farm on June 15.

“We brought him over hoping to run in the Fred Best today but ended up a wee way down the ballots for that race, so this is a great consolation,” Scott said.

“He handled a long summer in New Zealand very well, and we thought there was a bit more juice left in the tank to bring him over here. He’s got a good turn of foot and handles a range of track conditions.

“This is a great result for the owners. They’ve been very patient with him and they’ve got the reward today. For a young colt to beat older horses the way he did was fantastic.

“Now we’re hoping to carry on to the Gunsynd in a couple of weeks’ time. We’d love to pick up a bit of black-type with him.”

Geriatrix was bred by Cambridge Stud owner Brendan Lindsay and is by that operation’s outstanding shuttle stallion Almanzor. Since August 1, Almanzor has sired 69 winners across Australia and New Zealand including Gr.1 Sydney Cup (3200m) hero Circle Of Fire and fellow stakes winners Positivity, Athabascan, Zabmanzor, Moonlight Magic, Sudbina, Nucleozor and Ahuriri.

The dam of Geriatrix is the Showcasing mare It’s Our Showtime, whose two foals to race are both winners. Geriatrix’s half-sister Proscenium Arch finished fourth in last year’s Gr.2 Doomben Roses (2000m).

Cambridge Stud offered Geriatrix in Book 1 of Karaka 2022, where he was bought for $675,000 by Bruce Perry Bloodstock.

It’s Our Showtime produced a colt by Merchant Navy in 2021, followed by another Almanzor colt in 2023. – NZ Racing Desk.