Fred Kersley received two pleasant surprises when Blackwood and North Ridge saluted at Belmont on Saturday.
Blackwood (Blackfriars) bolted in by 7 lengths and North Ridge (Danehill Express) defied a 5kg penalty to win the Westspeed Hcp (1400m). Kersley prepares the stablemates for Oakland Park owner-breeder Neville Duncan.
North Ridge overhauled summer carnival stakes-winner Liberty’s Gem and then held late-closer Dark Musket to land his third win in four starts this year. “He’s better than I thought,” Kersley admitted. “I was a little surprised because of the rise in weight from his last win here.
“He will have a break now and that will give me time to reflect on today’s win and think about his future.”
Mungrup Stud stallion Danehill Express sired him from Noreaster (Fuji Kiseki). She has a colt on the ground by Rogano and was bred back to Danehill Express last year.
Danehill Express has progeny earnings of $2.07 million this season and he will stand for a $4,400 (inc gst) service fee in 2015.