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The story behind Hayasugi

3 minute read

A look at the background of this year’s Blue Diamond winner.

Hayasugi winning the Blue Diamond.
Hayasugi winning the Blue Diamond.

Those who believe in fate will tell you it was meant to be with Saturday's Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes winner Hayasugi.

The Clinton McDonald-trained filly is not just the only winner from the first crop of Royal Meeting, but out of a mare who has failed to deliver a foal since giving birth to Hayasugi in 2021.

That's despite making a couple of trips back to the son of Invincible Spirit.

Hayasugi's unraced dam China Road visited North Pacific and Churchill in the months following Hayasugi's arrival but missed on both occasions, which prompted Mike O'Donnell to send his $10,000 Inglis Digital purchase back to Royal Meeting in 2022.

That was a few months after O'Donnell saw James Bester, Shane McGrath and Cara Mok pay $47,500 for Hayasugi at the Australian Weanling Sale.

But China Road failed to get in-foal after that return meeting, and after a subsequent mating to Prague, before another visit to Royal Meeting last spring also failed to deliver a positive return before a trip to see Jacquinot.

If O'Donnell is blessed to get another foal from China Road, it will have big shoes to fill as the best product of the Commands mare.

Hayasugi's most recent win saw her become the first youngster since Sepoy (2011) to win the Blue Diamond Preview, Prelude and Group 1 final and only second filly behind 1987 heroine Midnight Fever, taking her record to three wins and one second placing from five starts with $1,635,350 in the bank.

China Road's first foal Dynastic (Love Conquers All) is a nine-time winner, but none on a stage as big as Caulfield on Blue Diamond Day, nor four-time winner Never Say Nay (No Nay Never), while third foal Negronis (Impending) is yet to place from two starts.

O'Donnell decided to take a punt on Royal Meeting, a son of I Am Invincible's sire who was a Group 1 two-year-old winner in France at his second start and failed to win in two starts in Australia but found a home at Aquis.

He stood there for just one season, at a fee of $11,000, before being taken over by Leneva Park, which has stood him at the same fee the past three seasons.

Hayasugi is his only winner from a handful with War Council, who finished third at Randwick in December, the only other to place.

After serving 89, 106 and 105 mares in his first three season, Royal Meeting covered 66 mares last year but where the remainder of his breeding career is carried out is up for discussion with Aquis still holding standing rights to the stallion.
Hayasugi's win comes on the eve of the Inglis Premier Sale, which commences next Sunday, with five lots to be offered across the three days of Victoria's major yearling sale of the season.

Racing and Sports


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