Black type beckons Eternal Flame

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  • February 05, 2024
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New Zealand-bred mare Eternal Flame passed a crucial test at Caulfield on Friday and is now on a path towards bigger and better things.

The four-year-old daughter of Sacred Falls scored a runaway victory in Friday’s Catanach’s Jewellers The Mary Bell (1400m), which was the third win of a promising eight-start career.

Eternal Flame was a maiden winner at Pakenham last February and added a second win at Sandown in August. In between times, she finished close up behind the placegetters when sixth in the Gr.2 Angus Armanasco Stakes (1400m) and Gr.2 Kewney Stakes (1600m).

Fifth in the Listed Black Pearl Stakes (1200m) at Geelong in her resuming run on January 6, Eternal Flame was a warm favourite at Caulfield on Friday and took a big step forward.

Squeezed back to second-last in the early stages of the race, jockey Damian Lane let Eternal Flame stride forward three-wide on the track to move into striking range approaching the home turn.

Lane released the brakes in the straight and Eternal Flame quickened impressively, taking command and clearing out to win by four lengths.

“She stepped okay, but it got a little bit messy early in the race,” Lane said. “I thought there was no point dropping back to last behind horses I didn’t really want to follow, so I decided to let her stride forward three deep and she was lovely from that point on.

“She has high potential, but she’s still very raw. When I let her go, she wanted to run in. She had a look at the winning post and shied. But I think there’s very good upside there.”

Eternal Flame is trained by Michael Kent and has now earned A$136,500 from her eight-start career.

“She’s a big, scopey mare,” Kent said. “I was worried about the home turn here today. She did wobble around it a little bit, but then she balanced up and finished it off nicely.

“We’re hoping that she might get up to Group level in this campaign. We had a throw at the stumps in the Black Pearl first-up – there were no other races for her and she probably wasn’t quite ready for a race like that. She needed that run, and she also got stuck down on the inside where the ground was worse by that point of the day.

“She needed to come and win this race today to get her rating up so that we could aspire to some better races in the autumn.

“She’s by Sacred Falls and has a bit of stamina on the dam side. To me, she really appeals as a miler with a good turn of foot.”

Eternal Flame was bred by Hoofbeat Ltd and is one of five winners from seven named foals out of the Savabeel mare Suriyan. Herself a winner over 1200m, Suriyan is a three-quarter-sister to the Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) winner and Waikato Stud stallion Noverre. Suriyan’s other foals include the multiple placegetter Tres Rapide, who is the dam of Group Three winner Kinane.

Offered by Kilmore Farm at the 2021 Ready to Run Sale at Karaka, Eternal Flame was bought by Phill Cataldo Bloodstock for $260,000. – NZ Racing Desk.

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