The heir apparent to champion sire Fastnet Rock, Royal Ascot hero Merchant Navy made his presence felt at the official two year-old trials at Randwick on Monday with an impressive heat winner in Drisana (2f Merchant Navy x Broadband, by Sebring) and two more place-getters.
Trained by Peter and Paul Snowden, two year-old filly Drisana was very impressive for Kerrin McEvoy, jumping quickly from an outside gate, but allowed to find her feet and settle into a rhythm at the back of the field.
She surged around runners turning for home and unleashed a long powerful charge to the line to win by three-quarters of a length running away in 50.30 seconds.
Drisana was foaled and raised at Segenhoe as was her sire Merchant Navy and fetched $125,000 at the Inglis Weanling Sale when purchased by Donald Dickie.
Bred by Peter Horwitz, she is the first foal of Group III winning Sebring mare Broadband, a juvenile winner whose dam is a three-quarter sister-in-blood to Group I winner Anamato, the dam of superstar colt Anamoe.
The manner of Drisana’s win would suggest the Group III ATC Gimcrack Stakes on October 2 would be well within her scope if she pulls up well and pleases the stable.
Merchant Navy was also in the placings at the trials with the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace trained colt Calico Jack (2c Merchant Navy x Shrill, by Shamardal) finishing a good length second in his heat and looking open to further improvement, while Annabel Neasham would be well pleased with her colt Dirty Merchant (2c Merchant Navy x Onemorezeta, by Onemorenomore), who found the line well in his heat for third.
An exceptional racehorse, that was unbeaten at two before maturing to win two elite Group I sprint races at three, Merchant Navy retired with the imposing record of seven wins and two placings from 10 starts.
A powerhouse sprinting type, being by Fastnet Rock with his next two dams by champion sires Snippets and Last Tycoon, Merchant Navy has the pedigree, performance and physique desired by breeders and is priced this spring at just $33,000.