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Astoria races up to promise and pedigree

Mike Hedge

Regally-bred colt Astoria recorded a victory that justified stable opinion and offered plenty of promise for the future in the G3 Spring Stakes at Newcastle on Friday.

A winner on debut in the Autumn, Astoria (James Cummings/Tye Angland) had been placed twice at stakes-level in his subsequent three starts before stepping up in trip and impressively some well-credentialed opposition.

In a win that continued the superb form of the progeny of his sire Medaglia D’Oro, Astoria came from last with 500m to run to overpower Merovee by three-quarters-of-a-length.

Astoria is from a family whose maternal line traces directly to the outstanding producer Eight Carat whose five G1-winning offspring include the champion Octagonal. It is a family that also includes the G1 winners Tristalove, Don Eduardo and Viscount.

Despite the relative ease of the win, the plan had been for Astoria to race in a more forward position.

“We’d hoped he’d be one or two pairs closer, but Tye didn’t panic and the colt did his job very well,” Cummings said.

Astoria will be entered for most of the major three-year-old races of the coming Spring carnival with the G1 Spring Champion Stakes at Randwick a likely target.

Like the trainer, Angland said he had hoped to be closer to the speed but although Astoria jumped well, he was unable to cross the field from his wide gate.

“We had to go back but he travelled kindly and I was able to get onto the back of the right horse,” Angland said.

“He’s still a bit new, but there’s plenty of talent there.”