Jean and Tony McMahon with champion race horse Paradis Imperial.
Jean and Tony McMahon with champion race horse Paradis Imperial. CONTRIBUTED

Astounding horse goes where no two-year-old has gone before

RACING: Dream juvenile filly Paradis Imperial rewrote the record books on multiple fronts with a breathtaking win under the steadier of a whopping 63kg before a large appreciative crowd at Rockhampton's St Patrick's Day races at Callaghan Park on Saturday.

What's more, Paradis Imperial ($1.50), ridden by premier jockey Adrian Coome standing in for her regular rider the injured Nathan Day, overcame being held-up for clear running in the straight before winning easing down.

Even more telling was her time in winning the $29K QTIS 2YO Fillies Handicap (1100m) as she stopped the clock at a race record 1:03.90.

This was some 0.75 seconds faster than Bold Endeavour winning the Colts division of the race, meaning she would have won that event by 4.75 lengths.

Furthermore, in her stunning win, Paradis Imperial enhanced her status as Australia's greatest race winning two-year-old for the season (wins numerically) which now stand at six from eight starts while never being out of the prizemoney.

Better still for the parochial Rockhampton owners and connections, Saturday's win means she is the highest stakes winning Callaghan Park trained two-year-old ever, with prizemoney tallying a staggering $212,400 from eight starts.

All that from a purchase prize of just $9000 when sourced from a catalogue of 395 yearlings at last year's Magic Millions March Yearling Sales on the Gold Coast.

As an aside, her half-sister by Top Echelon will be offered for sale as Lot 64 today at the 2017 MM Yearling Sales.

For Paradis Imperial (b/gr f 2 Instinction-Hennessy Beau x Hennessey), appropriately named after an exquisite cognac which sells for a small fortune, it didn't stop there on a record count.

At Callaghan Park on Saturday she did what no others of her age or sex at this stage of their careers locally had done before - win with 63kg plus the 1kg weight of the jockey vest, which meant she carried 64kg or 10 stone one pound in the old imperial weight scale.

Little wonder her managing part-owner Jean McMahon was to quote "over the moon in dreamland".

"This is so surreal. All the other 11 owners are just ecstatic. Esmee (Paradis Imperial) is a gift from heaven. We are so lucky and so appreciative of having the pleasure of owning her. The thrills she has given us, but particularly more so today because the pressure was on Tony (trainer) as so many people had been at him that she should be spelled. She lives in a grassy paddock and really spells every day. As our strapper Kylie Welburn so rightly said, 'if you live in a penthouse why go on holidays' and really that says it all. Tony spends more time with our five fillies at our little Stanwell farm than with me. He lives eats and breathes our fillies and knows them inside out," Jean McMahon jested, albeit with an impression of being serious.

She said all the owners wanted to thank retired brilliant Rockhampton jockey Mark Unwin for his efforts as untiring track work rider for Paradis Imperial and their other little team.

"As well we can't forget Nathan Day who won five straight on Esmee and we were so sad when he broke his heel here 10 days ago. He was first to send us a congratulatory message after the win," Jean said.

Adrian Coome had conferred with Day about how to ride Paradis Imperial and their plan was almost scuttled when she was disappointed and held-up for a rails run in the straight of Saturday's race.

"She is a star filly and very game to do what she did today. Her work here on Wednesday was super and I am very thankful to have been given the ride," Coome said.

Earlier, Coome had won on stablemate, the top class mare Mamselle Corday who with 59kg resuming first-up from a spell won the Open Handicap (1300m).

"She did it easy too. I have never had a race ride for the McMahon stable before today but now have a 100% winning record. Nathan (Day) won't be getting back on either of them," Adrian said with tongue-in-cheek.

Coome rode a winning treble before the colourful St Patrick's Day crowd, winning on Andrew Suli's gutsy Party Pardee.

Trainer Tim Cook and his apprentice Zoe White also landed a winning double per medium of Conca Del Sognio ($41.00) and I Can I Will I Am ($5.00).

Disclosure: The writer Tony McMahon is the trainer of Paradis Imperial.


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