Counsel Victoria Derby-bound after win

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September 19, 2020 - 02:39 PM

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Wise Counsel confirmed David Eustace's opinion that he is a potential Victoria Derby contender with his victory in the opening event at Caulfield.

The three-year-old was perfectly ridden by Jye McNeil to break through at his third start in the Longboard Accountants For Mirabel Handicap (1600m) on Saturday.

Eustace said they had always had a nice opinion of Wise Counsel but it had taken time to get him to the track due an injury at the end of last season.

"We thought the mile would be fine. It was a good race, good maiden (run previously) at Geelong and hopefully he can go onto bigger and better things," Eustace said.

Eustace plans to use next month's Super Impose Stakes (1800m) at Flemington and Norman Robinson Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield as his lead-in runs to the Victoria Derby on October 31.

Wise Counsel has a Victoria Derby winner high in his pedigree as his dam Circus Polka is a half-sister to Victoria Derby winner Prized Icon.

He is by Toronado and is a full brother to Master Monaro who was sold to Hong Kong earlier this year after winning both of his starts.

Wise Counsel ($5.50) defeated Divine Diosa ($5.50) by a half-length with Queen Of Rocks ($6.50) three-quarters of a length away third.

The stable made it a winning double two races later when Muntaseera came from well back to win the 1000 metre races for three-year-olds.

She will have her next start in the Group Three Blue Sapphire Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on October 14 where she will be on trial for the Group One Coolmore Stakes at Flemington.

Muntaseera was ridden by former Irish jockey John Allen, who wore black armbands in honour of champion rider and fellow countryman Pat Smullen who died earlier this week.

"He was a world-class jockey. I didn't get to ride against him very often, but I did share a weighing room with him for a very long time," Allen said.

"By all accounts he was a fierce competitor and a very humble man off the track.

"Condolences to his family. His wife, Frances, I rode my first ever winner for her. His three kids - Paddy, Hannah and Sarah, the whole racing community has lost a man that will leave a big hole in Irish racing but also worldwide."

Muntaseera ($3.50 fav) defeated Valaquenta ($5.50) by a long head with Forever Free ($4) another 1-1/4 lengths away..