Messara to prepare Soft Sand for Oakleigh Plate

By: Mark Mazzaglia
December 14th, 2012

The Group 1 $400,000 Sportingbet Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 23 is the likely Autumn target for Soft Sand after the four year old was transferred to the Paul Messara stable.

Soft Sand

Soft Sand has been transfered to the Paul Messara stable. Photo by: Race Horse Photos Australia

A deal that saw BC3 Thoroughbreds and Arrowfield Stud secure the purchase of Soft Sand saw the Group 1 placed mare move from the stables of Caulfield trainer Colin Little to The Arrowfield Training Centre at Scone.

“Part of the deal with Arrowfield is that Paul takes control and she will be aimed towards the autumn,” Simon Marshall of BC3 Thoroughbreds said.

“Group 1 racing will be the key with her as her future is as a broodmare and maybe the Oakleigh Plate will be right up her alley.”

Soft Sand showed that she is up to Group 1 standard with a close second to Appearance in the Group 1 $500,000 Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington on November 3 and the pursue of more black type is high on the priority before the mare is sent to stud.

BC3 Thoroughbreds chief executive Bill Vlahos was happy to team up with Arrowfield to secure such a high quality race mare looking to the future.

“It’s terrific to buy her in partnership with Arrowfield as well. It’s a terrific partnership for us,” Vlahos said.

“If she does what we hope, then the breeding side of it will be looked after as well.

“I got an email from an agent a couple of weeks ago and we started to negotiate and it became obvious that John Messara and Arrowfield were involved.

“We thought instead of bidding against each other, we might manage a partnership and that’s what we did. It all came together over the past week.”

Vlahos hasn’t ruled out an overseas venture with Soft Sand for Messara who had huge success with his top mare Ortensia with Group 1 wins in Dubai and England during the Northern Hemisphere Spring and Summer.

“Paul Messara will be looking after the racing side of it,” Vlahos said.

“If she can come back and be the horse everyone expects her to this autumn then she could give us the opportunity of going overseas before she gets to the breeding barn.”

Soft Sand is the winner of four races from twelve starts and even though she hasn’t won at Group level her second in the Group 1 Myer Classic and a second in the Group 2 $180,000 D’Urban Angus Armanasco Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 25 has boosted her prizemoney to over $300,000.

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