Blackfriars mare Kensington Abbey caused an upset when she returned to form in the John Pope Hcp (2100m) at Belmont on Saturday.
It was her first win since July last year and she did it sitting outside the leader Grand Cadeaux who firmed from $7.50 into $2.50. Stepping up from 1400m to 2100m, the grey mare dropped the favourite in the straight and then fought back for a narrow victory over Juicing Carrots (Black Tom).
“It was the right distance and she finished it right off,” apprentice Mollie Clark said. “I like ‘Abbey’. I let her tell me where she wants to be although it’s hard to tell how she’s travelling because she was off the bit today.”
A homebred for trainer Arthur Mortimer, she has now earned $248,000 from 7 wins in 48 starts.
Mortimer raced her dam Tribula (Tribu) to 10 black-type victories up to Group 2 level in the 2001 Lee-Steere Stakes. She has also foaled the Bunbury winners Tribulette (Zentsov Street) and Senor Huracan (Hurricane Sky).
Kensington Abbey is the third Belmont winner by Scenic Lodge champion Blackfriars in the last week following Pagan Image and Saint Stephen. He has claimed 8 WA sires’ titles in a row and will have extra runners to support Black Heart Bart in the Eastern States this season.
Black Heart Bart finished midfield in the G2 P B Lawrence Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday and jockey Brad Rawiller was happy with the effort. “He felt great but just lacked a little dash. The run will bring him on.”
Trainer Darren Weir is also preparing Blackfriars mare Friar Fox. She won an Ascot maiden on New Year’s Eve and progressed to a Listed Natasha Stakes victory for Justine Erkelens in March.
Trainer Adam Durrant was heading to the G1 Thousand Guineas at Caulfield with his Blackfriars filly Assetro but she has been sidelined and will be back in time for the Ascot carnival.
Durrant and his parents Geoff and Vicki have sold their recent Northam winner Mr Genoa. The West Australian reported the Blackfriars 3yo was purchased for a significant six-figure sum by a leading stable in Victoria.
Mr Genoa’s NZ-bred dam Jean (Volksraad) cost $22,000 from a Bob Peters reduction sale in April 2009. She has a 2yo filly and a yearling filly by Blackfriars.