Gregorian Chants are usually sung by monks or nuns in cathedrals, convents or monasteries. The Gregorian Chant that performs this Saturday plays a very different tune. Flemington will be the venue and a quality filly, a promising young trainer and an astute ex-kiwi jockey will hopefully thrill those who tune in.
In recent years, OTI has enjoyed good success with young fillies from New Zealand. Aloisia’s credentials are well known and So Far Sokool’s exciting win in the Bendigo Guineas in the autumn are two that have come through OTI’s connection with New Zealand agent, Phil Cataldo. Gregorian Chant, an Echoes of Heaven filly, has the chance to reach black-type status in only her third race start. In the process, she will delight her owners and underwrite her relative purchase price.
Gregorian Chant was purchased when she impressed in winning a trial at Avondale, New Zealand last December. In her trial, she seemed a gangly type who, although settling at the rear of the field, was able to round up her competitors comfortably and record a fast time. Within days, the astute trial assessor, Matt Welsh, and Phil Cataldo, our NZ agent, referred the filly. Donna Logan, who trained the filly and is a long time trainer for OTI, gave her a glowing endorsement but stated that the filly was still a work in process.
About the time the filly was ready to come to Australia, the young Warrnambool trainer, Mitch Freedman decided to move to Ballarat. As well as training for several years by himself, Mitch had honed his skills with overseas stables and more recently Darren Weir. He perceived that by moving to Ballarat, he would attract more quality horses. Knowing Mitch’s talent and work ethic, it was an easy decision to place the filly in his hands. The move to Ballarat, a location that OTI strongly supports, was a bonus.
Gregorian Chant is by Echoes of Heaven, a son of Encosta De Lago. The filly’s dam, Norse Affair, a winner over 2000m, is by Viking Ruler. However, it is her grandam, Strawberry Affair, that gives more substance to the pedigree. As a result, the filly should have no issues in handling 2000m and beyond.
Since her arrival, Mitch has been very patient, allowing Gregorian Chant to come along slowly but surely. After a most promising run at Moonee Valley, she was too strong for her opposition in winning at Bendigo over 1400m three weeks ago. She now seems very well placed to build her credentials in the 1600m Listed race for 2yos on Saturday. A good result will help firm up the plans for the Melbourne Spring.
If there are celebrations to follow Gregorian Chant’s effort on Saturday, it is highly likely that music played will be more upbeat than the Gregorian Chants first developed back in the 9th and 10th centuries.