Champion WA stallion Blackfriars sired his 48th individual black-type winner on Saturday when Be Optimistic denied fast-closer Recalled (Epaulette) by a short head in the LR Kalgoorlie Cup (2300m).
Be Optimistic (5m Blackfriars – Mekie’s Dream by Pluck) was bred and sold by Scenic Lodge for $36,000 at the 2020 Perth Magic Millions Yearling Sale and the Goldfields prizemoney increased her earnings to $370,000 including Westspeed Bonuses of $83,000.
Blackfriars (Danehill) covered 17 books at Scenic Lodge before his death six years ago at the Muchea nursery and they generated 12 consecutive premierships in WA. It was also his third Kalgoorlie Cup following Spiritual Warrior (2019) and Woodsville (2015).
The Cup winner’s dam Mekie’s Dream had retired unraced and was among the maiden mares in his final book. Her second-dam Mannerism (Amyntor) won a Group 1 Caulfield Cup and Be Optimistic was her first and only foal.
“I thought she would be hard to beat until we were three-wide around the first corner,” managing part-owner and trainer Luke Fernie confessed.
“Clint (Johnston-Porter) was in a bit of trouble without cover and then he pulled one out of the hat and got in behind the leader!”
Be Optimistic dives on the line to win the Kalgoorlie Cup / Photo: Amber Lilley
Be Optimistic had won her maiden as an autumn 3yo at Geraldton in April 2022 and broke through in town at Ascot earlier this year beating Wednesday’s LR Hannans Hcp (1400) winner Magnificent Andy (Magnus). “I was going to get posted so I used my initiative and rolled forward,” Johnston-Porter said. “The leader kicked stronger than I thought it would but when I got out it was all over.”
She firmed into a $3.20 second-favourite for the Kal Cup after a third in the Coolgardie Cup (1760m) and second in the LR Boulder Cup (2100m). The $1 million G2 Perth Cup (2400m) is now a possible goal on New Year’s Day – Blackfriars won his only Perth Cup with Black Tycoon in 2014.
Blackfriars sired another trophy winner on Saturday when Acermetric and Natasha Faithfull put four lengths on their rivals in the Moora Cup (1800m). The 9yo gelding has been trained by Justine Erkelens from the outset and had won at Ascot and Belmont earlier in his career.
Owner Stewart Cruickshank bred Acermetric in partnership with Bianca Connelly and White Dragon Park from unraced Testa Rossa mare San Sophia. Her second-dam Iwan (NZ) is a full-sister to G1 Golden Slipper Stakes winner Marauding (Sir Tristram).