Prowess Much the Best in Vinery Stud Stakes

Prowess Much the Best in Vinery Stud Stakes

Proisir further etched his rising star status into the Australasian stallion landscape, with the Rich Hill Stud resident siring a 3-year-old feature race double at Rosehill Gardens March 25, headlined by a rampant victory for his daughter Prowess in the Vinery Stud Stakes (G1).

Success for the Roger James and Robert Wellwood-trained Prowess, who careered away to a three-and-a-quarter-length win down the center of the Rosehill straight, secured Proisir his tenth group 1 success as a sire from five group 1 winners, while less than three hours earlier Tapildoodledo handed the stallion a 12th individual stakes winner when claiming the Tulloch Stakes (G2) with a surging run on the outside.

Sent off the AU$2.15 favorite to land a first and coveted Australian group 1, Prowess charged into the lead under Mark Zahra with 200 meters to run, overhauling front-runner Soul Choice and eventual runner-up Pavitra, with victory never in doubt from the moment she loomed on the shoulder of her pacesetting rivals.

Golden Slipper (G1) winner Fireburn showed a further glimpse of her ability in snatching third as the best of five horses split by a head at the finish.

Prowess’ co-trainer James, who took his tally of Australian group 1 winners, either on his own or in partnership with Wellwood, to six, believed the filly to be the best of a talented bunch that he’s trained in his established career.

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“I could have waited 40 years for this one. She’s special,” James said. “She does things that I haven’t had another horse be able to do and I’ve been very blessed.

“I’ve won this race with Sixty Seconds, but this filly does special things. I’ve thought it for a long time that she could be the best I’ve trained. She is a superstar, this filly.”

Despite holding an entry for the Australian Oaks (G1) at Randwick April 8, Prowess will return to New Zealand, but it won’t be the last the star filly is seen on Australian soil, with James plotting further cross-Tasman riches next season.

“The world is her oyster. Without being silly, there is a lot of money to be had as an older horse in Australia and she’s had quite a big season,” he said.

“She’s been to the South Island and back, she is still learning her game too. We’ll get home and enjoy what we’ve just seen now and we can make plans from there.”

Zahra, riding Prowess for the first time, was handed the ride due to suspension for champion jockey James McDonald.

“I was able to sit up and enjoy the group 1,” Zahra said. “Sorry to J Mac, but he’s got near 100 (group 1 wins) and another 100 coming in the next year so I’ll take one.”

Prowess, who commanded an AU$230,000 price as a yearling when bought by her trainers, is one of four winners from four runners and the only stakes winner out of Donna Marie, herself a maiden mare from 12 starts. She was bred and sold by Mark Baker’s Hallmark Stud at the 2021 New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale.

The Australian triumphs for Prowess—last-start winner of the Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes (G1) in her home country—and the Kerry Taplin-trained Tapildoodledo, added further emphasis to what has been an extraordinary season for Proisir, spearheaded by his 3-year-old crop.

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