By Brad Gray
Blue blood colt Merovee, who is by champion galloper Frankel out of Group-winning mare More Strawberries, broke through for his maiden victory at Newcastle in Tuesday and gave Frankel his first winner as a sire in Australia.
Merovee fetched $1.6 million at the Inglis Australian Yearling Sales for John Singleton, who retained a share in the ownership, and had to fight off the late challenge of Legendofoz at the finish but pulled out enough to suggest he has a role of play over the spring.
“He has come back a more rounded colt and it’s just a relief to get the monkey off his back. I know it’s only his second start but he did it tough today,” said Chris Waller’s racing manager Charlie Duckworth.
“We’ll just get him home now and make sure he is safe and sound then plot to where we can get to over the spring but obviously with the price tag on him, we’ll be hoping he can reach the top level.
“Physically he was beautiful as a yearling but just when he grew he went a little bit weak on us but that’s all part and parcel of growing up. He’s still got some strengthening to do so I’d imagine he is only going to get bigger and better in the next six months.”
Hugh Bowman, who gave Merovee plenty of room to come into the race before running home in slick time with the last 600m recorded as 34 seconds flat, said there is still a lot more to come from the three-year-old.
“He looked good and felt really good,” Bowman said, “His (debut) run was maybe disappointing on face value but I wasn’t disappointed because it was a slowly run 1200m race and he was simply outsprinted.”
“Over more distance today I was able to get moving when it suited me. I wasn’t trapped in among them like at his first start. I loved the way he dug deep the last 100m. He had a fight on his hands and for a pretty experienced horse to respond the way he did was a very good sign.
“To the eye he still looks very immature physically so he is going to be a much nicer horse in time.”