EMPIRE STRIKES TO DELIVER ANOTHER FLEMINGTON WINNER!!
It was deja-vu on Saturday as the progressive FALLEN EMPIRE delivered another FLR winner at Flemington for #TeamFIRST with trainers Mat Ellerton & Simon Zahra
Seven days after a daughter of Smart Missile in SMART COUPE won at Headquarters it was the son of Smart Missile in FALLEN EMPIRE sending another group of FLR owners into delirious celebration at Racing HQ
The pair, of course, joined Group 1 heroine ARISTIA as recent Flemington winners after she completed a memorable Cup week double back in November.
In familiar scenes, the new Flemington owners stand was rocking as an army of Fallen Empire owners saw him turn an eye-catching 3rd placing a week earlier into a Christmas present to savour on Saturday.
He was aided by a masterful ride by Craig Williams ride that was last season's champion riders 3rd win by only race 5 as he continued to show why he's one of the best in the business... and an owner favourite as he found time to join all for a post race winning photo.
The $70,000 Melbourne Premier Yearling joins an ever growing list of value for money stable stars and he became the 13th winner for #TeamFIRST this season that includes 4 Flemington winners amongst 6 metropolitan winners Australia-wide. "It's been an incredible start to the season to share Flemington success with so many fantastic people and the scenes on Saturday had to be seen to be believed as emotions took over for a much loved galloper"
said FLR's Ashleigh Dowley "He suffered a tendon injury earlier this year so to have him back racing and winning at Flemington in the same year shows the rollercoaster of racing that makes these successes so special" "The number of post race tears from the men almost outnumbered the women but that's what racehorse ownership is all about and these owners have developed an incredible bond over the past 12 months"
The $70,000 yearling looks to have the brightest of futures and he delivered a pre-Christmas gift for everyone to savour on Saturday.
Timed to perfection: Craig Williams times his run on Fallen Empire to the second to deliver another Flemington winner
FLR's affinity with Smart Missile as a stallion continues while the similarities between FALLEN EMPIRE and SMART COUPE don't end there.
"Not only are they both by Smart Missile, both Flemington winners, both trained by Ellerton Zahra but the boys also trained both of their Dams in Annlea (Fallen Empire) and Coupe (Smart Coupe)"
"So that's another reason for the Flemington based stable to celebrate and we can't understate what a terrific job they've done with these winners"
Fallen Empire announced himself as a star of the future winning the inaugural #FLRKramer award for the most improbable win of last season with his last to first maiden win at Donald.
Celebrations that day didn't last long as news followed he sustained an injury to a tendon sheath after the winning post.
"We talk about a team effort but Fallen Empire's success is every bit testimony to the teamwork of Ellerton Zahra and FLR. Our vet Dr Ian Church developed a six-month rehabilitation program for him that incorporated a trotting program with harness trainer Jayne Davies. It sounds a bit crazy but it worked!"
"We can't thank the owners enough for their unwavering confidence in his left field rehab program and despite sounding like a potential Inter Dominion winner as opposed to Flemington winner everyone's confidence was rewarded on Saturday"
Fallen Empire, Smart Coupe and Aristia all Flemington winners and Lexus ambassadors?
Fallen Empire will look to continue winning ways at Caulfield in a fortnight's time while the stable enjoy a few days off before Christmas ahead of Smart Coupe's Group 3 Standish Handicap attempt at Flemington on New Years Day.
Congratulations to his owners: Erin Greig, Barry Clark, Kelvin Clark, Pas Sciulli, LTD Racing Syndicate (Chris Hope, Nick Brennan, Grant Broadley, Anthony Gale, Glenn Laurie, Jesse Merlo, Darren Patrick, Pas Sciulli, Adam Scott, Jarrod Thomson, Steve White, Michael Bradford, Rod Haywood, Keith Bryant, Ryan Tempany, John Forrest, Mark Grech, Barry Hope, Paul Mahoney, David Mayne, Kevin Nolan, Marty Turner, Scott Zachariassen, Paul Rogers, Todd Warner, Jarrod Kennedy), Daryl Schimmelbusch, Linc Sullivan, Brett Anderson, Geoff Plunkett, Terry McGough, Kevin McLaughlin, Suzy Wood, SMACT Syndicate (Tim Dodgson, Adam Roberts, Daniel Jarvis, Simon Murray, Clinton Wilson), Joy Turnor, Michael Hales, Adam Seabrooke