Impeccably bred youngster Birdsong made a winning debut for the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman stable when she led all the way over 1200m in the opening event at Te Rapa. The Snitzel two-year-old had looked promising in her two trial runs before Saturday’s contest and with the application of blinkers was primed for a serious first-up effort.
Rider Matt Cameron made good use of an inside barrier to kick the filly into a forward position as she disputed the pace with the Team Rogerson-prepared Roc Cha. With the field struggling in the blustery conditions on offer, Birdsong maintained a powerful gallop in the home straight to score by over two lengths from Roc Cha with Harlech making up good ground to take third.
Co-trainer Andrew Forsman was pleased with the effort by his charge who was a $400,000 purchase for owners, Sunlight Thoroughbreds, from the Pencarrow Stud draft during the Book 1 session at the National Yearling Sale last year. “It was always the key, whoever got up on pace and she was the one who drew the best,” Forsman said. “She has really improved since the trials and we have put the blinkers on and she has really sharpened up. “She is a beautiful filly, well bred, and she is only going to get better with time.”
Cameron was delighted with the filly’s effort after employing the front-running tactics that saw the pair avoid the sand kickback that has been an issue at Te Rapa in recent months. “That was the key (leading) as there is a lot of sand coming back as the other jocks are covered in it,” he said. “It’s good to get these two-year-olds out and in the clear. It might not be the way to ride her but you get away with it first-up.”
Bred by Sir Peter Vela’s Pencarrow Thoroughbreds, Birdsong is the first foal of the Group 3 winning Galileo mare Scintillula who was a runner-up at Group 1 level while also placing fourth in both the Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks (2385m) and Group 1 Irish Oaks (2414m).