Last Of The Line gave Scenic Lodge legend Blackfriars a belated black-type first this season in the G3 Strickland Stakes (2000m) at Belmont on Saturday.
The Stephen Miller-trained gelding led for Brad Parnham and staved off several challenges to win by half a length from Startrade (Trade Fair) and Dom To Shoot (Shooting To Win). The Strickland was his first appearance on a heavy track and sent his earnings to $611,000 with $93,000 in bonuses from Westspeed.
Last Of The Line had won the LR Detonator Stakes (1800m) at Ascot in February 2021 for owner-breeder Lindsay Rogers and a syndicate that includes Trevor Sanders, Bob Wilson and Kevin Gould. His only other win since then was the Vale Rogan Josh Hcp (1600m) at Belmont this time last year.
“He’s a tough, old horse and has done a tremendous job today,” Miller said. “He missed the Hyperion Stakes after he got cast and injured a knee. He’s been shouldering big weights and the plan was to target these weight-for-age races.
“He will go out for a spell now and come back for the carnival. He will tell us if he’s up to a Railway or even a Perth Cup.”
Last Of The Line is the last foal from Catch The Cat (Royal Abjar) who is a direct descendant of Edge Of Darkness (G3 Sir Ernest Lee-Steere Classic). She owns a perfect record with Blackfriars having five to race for five winners starting with Black Felix in the 2010 LR Placid Ark Stakes.
Blackfriars has won the last twelve WA sires’ premierships and 2018-19 remains the only one of those seasons when he failed to register a black-type winner. He doesn’t have a two or three year-old division this season but is still sitting third on the WA sires’ premiership
His best season was 2011-12 with 8 Stakes winners headed by Playing God’s successful defence of the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic. His most prolific at the elite level was Black Heart Bart who won 15 Stakes races headed by 6 Group 1 triumphs in Melbourne and Adelaide.
Blackfriars (Danehill) is the damsire of 13 Stakes winners with Kissonallforcheeks (Written Tycoon) his leader with $1.7 million in prizemoney. The rising 6yo mare was ruled out of the $4 million The Quokka (1200m) in April after throat surgery which also throws her immediate racing future into question.