Prix De Turn wins the Group 2 DCE Alister Clark Stakes with Beau Mertens aboard
Prix De Turn was bought for just $47,500 at the 2020 Inglis Ready 2 Race Sale.
After winning the Group 2 DCE Alister Clark Stakes at the end of his last preparation ($750,000), he’s already taken his career earnings to a whopping $556,900 – more than eleven times his sale price.
Following an encouraging runners-up effort on debut at Sandown, he was thrown straight into the deep end by his 28-year-old trainer Matthew Brown. He contested the Caulfield Guineas and Carbine Club Stakes at starts two and three, and has really delivered on those lofty opinions in the Autumn when winning two races in impressive fashion.
Given the stable name ‘Rolex’ due to his flashy looks and impressive physique, the son of three-time Group 1 winner Turn Me Loose is certainly living up to that name and that Group 2 success could keep him a colt for longer than first thought.
“He was sort of on the borderline at the time of whether he was going to stay a colt or not,” Brown said on Monday.
“Obviously, that was his prep to show that he warrants staying a colt – and for now, he has done just that.”
Showing any talent early days on the racetrack here in Australia usually warrants some interest from overseas buyers, and winning a big group race as a three-year-old only motivates those callers more.
Brown says the phone has been ringing non-stop since his debut with offers to purchase the New Zealand-bred colt, but despite the lucrative quotes, the ownership group are keen to keep him.
“We had some fair offers come rolling in for him, which is great because you know you have a horse that a lot of people are after.
“It is hard to say no, but these are the horses we need in the stable, and we want to win big races, so thankfully, the owners were pretty happy to keep him, and we race on.”
The win in the Alister Clark was the biggest of Brown’s career so far, but a foggy memory of the spectacle itself remains the order of the day for the Cranbourne trainer.
“It was a big blur from the 600 when he popped off and started edging into it.
“It’s probably the loudest I’ve ever yelled on a racetrack. I know that!
“But it was a big thrill. Obviously, my father being my biggest backer, he was there and my other main owner Benny (D’Baco) with his wife Ev, so to have them on course and win a big race meant a lot.”
The victory wasn’t just the highlight of Brown’s career so far, but it was also the biggest race that jockey Beau Mertens had won. Mertens rode Prix De Turn on debut but was offered the ride again in the Alister Clark after usual pilot Brian Higgins suffered a fall in trackwork and dislocated his shoulder.
He didn’t let his opportunity go to waste. The expert ride earnt him the Drummond Golf Ride of the Season, saving his best efforts to the second last meeting of the Ladbrokes Friday Night Lights fixture.
According to Brown, Prix De Turn trialled at Cranbourne on Monday morning and didn’t appreciate the heavy going. Track dependent, he could be making his race return at The Valley this week, with races like the Metropolitan Handicap in Sydney circled as possible targets come Spring.
“Through his pedigree, he should see a trip right out.
“His mum ran fourth over 3200 metres and in a Derby as well, so he has plenty of stamina in his pedigree.
“I’m hoping that 2400 metres is going to be no worry for him,” Brown concluded.
Prix De Turn will run at 1600 metres first up before taking the step up to 2000 metres second up, and Brown will be hoping he is hitting the line strongly with bigger targets to come down the track.