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Vale Filante

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  Story By Brian Russell Media     

Wednesday, 20 August 2008: Former outstanding racehorse and Group 1 sire Filante died on Sunday at George Fraser's Ilala Stud, Scone.

Photo by Studs

Unforgettable is an apt description of the four lengths victory in new track record time in the1996 renewal of the Epsom Handicap over 1600m at Randwick of Geoff and Beryl White's son of Star Way.

Filante's time of 1:33.3 for the race is the fastest ever registered in either the Epsom or Doncaster Handicaps, two of the great 'mile' races run in Australia.

His Epsom jockey, Brian York, said afterwards that he did not think that he had ever been on a horse who could quicken like Filante, one whose name is French for shooting star.

Filante showed often through his 25 start career that there was nothing freakish about his Epsom display, his other six wins including the Caulfield Stakes-Gr.1 (2000m) by 2.3 lengths, SydneyTattersall's Chelmsford Stakes-Gr.2 (1600m, race record time) and AJC Warwick Stakes-Gr.2 (1400m) twice, the second time in still standing track record time of 1:21.06s.

In addition he was runner up twice in the Moonee Valley Cox Plate, on the first occasion beaten a head by Saintly, and also second in the AJC George Main Stakes twice, VRC L.K.S. Mackinnon Stakes, STC Canterbury Guineas and at a second go at the Chelmsford and third in the AJC Australian Derby, Chipping Norton Stakes and in a second attempt at the Mackinnon.

Bred by the late distinguished NSW breeder Jim Fleming and purchased by the Whites at a Sydney Easter yearling sale for $220,000, Filante was a half-brother to two other Group1 winners, Bint Marscay and Kenny's Best Pal, and from Eau d'Etoile, a Sir Tristram Queensland Oaks and New Zealand Oaks third.

Retired to Widden Stud in 1998, Filante has been the sire of 149 winners.

The best of the six stakes winners among them has been the Timor Creek Stud, Murrurundi bred Macedon Lady, annexer in 2002 of the G1 Caulfield Thousand Guineas.

Filante has had a new achievement as sire in recent weeks, supplying a very promising steeple jumper in Wheel The Lead.

He followed up a big finishing four lengths win in a steeple at Hamilton in Victoria on August 3 with success in the Cleanevent Steeple over 3500m at Adelaide's Morphettville last Saturday, August 16.

Although Filante is a big loss for 2008 season for the Ilala Stud, they are still offering mare owners the use of nine sires, including high class performers Amalfi (won the Victoria Derby), Oh Oklahoma (second in the Rosehill Guineas), Classic Endeavor (16 wins in America including15 on New York tracks), We Can Seek (Chilean Triple Group1 winner), Honor in War (American Group 1 winner) and Grand Reve (Canny Lad winner of six sprints and runner up in three stakes to the spectacular filly Gold Edition).

Also on the Ilala roster are Vice Admiral (a brother to champion racehorse and sire Dehere), Techrico (by Zabeel and from Golden Slipper second Vaindarra) and Sippin' Bourbon (a half-brother to Kentucky Derby winner Smarty Jones).

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 Posted by Rocko, on 21-8-2008  9:07:20 AM

He was my first ''favourite'' horse...a freakish turn off foot and one of the very best milers we have seen. Sadly, he waws never able to win one of the ''big ones'' but was always super competitve. He will be missed, but provided many great memories. ”

 Posted by Jeff Vassallo, on 20-8-2008  7:40:47 PM

Sad to hear the passing of such a great racehorse who unfortunately didn''t quite make it at stud ”

 Posted by tigerrish, on 20-8-2008  6:53:56 PM

Sad to hear of his passing, he was more than competitive against the best crop of 3yrs we have seen when he raced. His performance in the Epsom will be remembered for years to come, lets hope his record last for many years too. ”

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