The well supported Guard Of Honour became the first stakes-winner from the fourth and final crop of Northern Meteor when holding the challenge of the hard-charging Flash Fibian in Saturday’s Schweppes Heritage Stakes (1100m).
Given the run of the race by Hugh Bowman, Guard Of Honour wrestled the lead off the favourite Tango Rain 300 metres out but came under attack from the fast finishing Flash Fibian.
Carrying the colours of Ron and Judy Wanless, Guard Of Honour clung to a nose victory over Flash Fibian (Ready's Image) with Hair Trigger (Smart Missile) a head back in third. (photos Steve Hart).
The winner was making just his third race start and his first of the season.
He showed he had a bright future when winning at Warwick Farm back in June and trainer Kris Lees said the 3yo colt would be improved by the run.
"He (Bowman) looked to have plenty of horse underneath him but it was very tight at the finish," Lees said
"He will definitely improve off the run but he will probably need too.
"We will see how he comes through it. There is another stakes race in two weeks time at 1200 (Group II Roman Consul) whether he’s ready for that that, we’ll just see how he comes through today.
"He’s a smart horse.”
Bred by Mill Park and Toorak Park Stud and offered by Mill Park at the 2015 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling sale, Guard Of Honour was knocked down to Scone Bloodstock Servicesfor $300,000.
He is the second foal of the General Nediym mare Victory Cry a sister to Listed winner Victory Chant and a half-sister to Listed winner Reldas ( Testsa Rossa).
Victory Cry’s dam Classic Status (Marscay) is a half-sister to the outstanding filly Serious Speed (Royal Academy) whose five wins included the Group 1 One Thousand Guineas.
Victory Cry has a 2yo colt by Sebring and a yearling Foxwedge filly.
She was bred back to Northern Meteor’s Group 1 Caulfield Guineas winning son Shooting To Win last spring.
Guard Of Honour becomes the 21st stakes-winner for former Widden Stud resident Northern Meteor who died in July 2013.