Verifier breaks through at Flemington

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  • June 06, 2023
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Three-year-old gelding Verifier broke through for a well-deserved victory when landing the RCH Staff Appreciation Plate (2000m) at Flemington on Saturday.

The son of Tivaci has been knocking on the door for trainer Nigel Blackiston, coming from the rear of the field under a perfectly-timed Robbie Downey ride to land the prize.

Despite his previous maiden status, Verifier had run well when beaten just over two lengths in the Gr.3 Chairman’s Stakes (2000m) in Adelaide and backed up that performance when fifth at Flemington last start.

“In the running, he got a little bit further back than we would have hoped and he got a bit clustered up as well, but you could see he was always travelling,” Blackiston said.

“He is a beautiful rider young Robbie Downey. He keeps them balanced and when he picks a horse up, he can really help them to the line. Thank goodness it opened up for him at the right time and he got the job done.

“It has been a great team effort. We have got a small team at Ballarat now and the people there work very hard, and I thank them all very much for their efforts. A special thanks to the ownership group as well.”

Blackiston said Verifier relishes the world-class training facilities at Ballarat.

“He has got open space there that reminds me a little bit of being back in Newmarket,” he said. “You can be a bit more relaxed with the horses and take your time with them.”

The gelding is now likely to be set for the A$200,000 Mahogany Challenge Final (2500m) for three-year-olds back at Flemington on July 1.

“Obviously, he has been up a little while now, but if I can keep him fresh, I think we will go straight to the final and just keep him ticking over,” Blackiston said.

The Waikato Stud-bred and sold Verifier was an A$80,000 Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale purchase for Blackiston and is the first live foal of the Savabeel mare Checkout.

She is a daughter of the Gr.2 Angus Armanasco Stakes (1400m) winner Shopaholic, who has also left the stakes performers Bargain and Shop Til I Drop, while it is also the family of multiple Group One winner Sacred Falls

Checkout has a yearling filly by Ocean Park and last season foaled a daughter of Super Seth and is back in foal to the Caulfield Guineas-winning son of Dundeel.

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