Russian To The Bar has the potential to emulate his older half-sister Kissonallforcheeks at Group 2 level this season following a classy victory in the LR Challenge Stakes (1500m) at Ascot on Wednesday.

Russian To The Bar (3g Russian Revolution – Rosie Rocket by Blackfriars) completed a hat-trick for his first black-type success in a race that was also the launching pad for Trix Of The Trade (Trade Fair) two years ago.

The Dawson Stud homebred was given the run of the race behind the speed and peeled off the heels of Investmentstrategy (Playing God) to score by a length.  “I was very impressed with the way he finished once in the clear,” trainer Luke Fernie said.  “He has a very bright future.

“We bought him for a decent sum as a yearling and it’s been a learning curve training him.  We’ve had to be patient but he has the right attitude and hopefully he keeps pressing on this prep.”

Russian To The Bar (Photo / Western Racepix) will have his next classic prelim in the LR Lex Piper Stakes (1600m) on March 2 on a path towards the G2 WA Derby (2400m) at Ascot on April 13.

Kissonallforcheeks (Written Tycoon) had won to that level in the G2 Let’s Elope Stakes (1600m) at Flemington in 2022.

Their dam Rosie Rocket is owned by Dawson Stud’s Graham Daws and she won the LR Starstruck Classic (1600m) and LR La Trice Classic (1800m) during the Ascot summer carnival of 2011.  She has a filly foal by Capitalist and was bred back to Dundeel (NZ) in September.

Kissonallforcheeks retired to stud last year and her maiden cover was to Australian Horse Of The Year Anamoe (Street Boss) at Darley Stud.

Russian To The Bar races in the colours of David Reed and Daws kept a share after selling him for a record-breaking $200,000 at the 2022 Perth Magic Millions Winter Yearling Sale.

Winning jockey Chris Parnham believes Russian To The Bar will make the grade as a stayer.  “He relaxed and it was a soft win,” he told The West Australian.  “He had attitude problems in his first preparation but has become a real racehorse since a spell.  I was confident today and just had to wait for a clear run.”