Portland Sky and the $200,000 Group 3 Red Anchor Stakes

by Kristen Manning

Cheers from Western Australia on Saturday as the exciting colt Portland Sky recorded a dominant victory in one of W.S Cox Plate day’s features the, $200,000 Gr.3 Red Anchor Stakes.

The Matt Laurie trained three-year-old was having just his fourth start on the back of a couple of somewhat unlucky runs at Caulfield and Flemington but this time from the inside gate the bay was able to put on display his considerable natural talent.

Not that it was all smooth sailing – Portland Sky not always having his own way in front, joined at the 500m… but always travelling well, giving a strong kick in the run home.

“He is a lovely colt,” Matt Laurie enthused, “and he did a good job. He got pestered in this tough going which I don’t think he actually handled – it was a good performance.”

“From day dot, even when breaking him in, we felt like he was a quality horse and he has continued to improve… and I think he will keep doing that. I think we’ve got a really nice horse.”

Music to the ears of Portland Sky’s breeders – Robert & Ann Anderson of Anita Vale Stud – and to local pedigree analyst Kristen Manning who planned the mating that produced this promising young horse.

“Having already advised on the pedigrees of feature race Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup carnival winners in the past, it is a big thrill to add a W.S Cox Plate day Group winner to the list,” she said.

“And I am so excited for the Andersons, lovely people and great clients who do such a wonderful job with their horses.”

After cheering home Portland Sky, the Andersons popped out to the paddock to give the colt’s dam Sky Rumba a celebratory carrot and an extra pat. The much loved mare is a member of a family that has been part of the Anita Vale story for generations – her first three dams all bred by the Anderson family!

Sadly, having lost sight in her right eye a couple of years ago, Sky Rumba is not a great traveller and the Andersons now keep her close to home. But fortunately she was in New South Wales when Deep Field was outlined as a perfect mate.

“Kristen’s advice was invaluable,” Rob Anderson said, “and it a pity that Sky Rumba lost her first Deep Field foal, he was a lovely colt also.”

A half-sister to the dual stakes winner London Line, Sky Rumba continues to do a good job for her owners, her 2020 Perth Magic Millions colt by Blackfriars fetching $170,000 to the bid of Simon Miller racing… the highest priced yearling of the breed at the sale and equal third highest priced yearling overall.

“We are looking forward to seeing him on the track,” Rob said.

Portland Sky is the third Matt Laurie trained Group winner bred by clients of Kristen Manning, the others being the Gr.1 South Australian Derby winner Escado and the Gr.2 Edward Manifold Stakes winner Se Sauver.

For further information on professional pedigree analysis contact Kristen Manning on kristenmanning@gmail.com or 0428 563 917.