Ghibellines pair impress
By Jonny Turner
A flashing finish from Ears The Barman set up an excellent past week for White Robe Lodge sire Ghibellines.
The half-brother to Sydney Cup winner and Melbourne Cup placegetter Who Shot Thebarman showed he was in for a big preparation when stretching out stylishly to win over 1300m at Sandown on Thursday.
The win was Ears The Barman's second fresh up victory in his last two campaigns.
Though the son of Carolingian mare, Ears Carol, clearly went under punter's radars at $21 odds, he did not surprise his Melbourne trainer Philip Stokes
"He got under my guard when he won his maiden first up last prep at Pakenham on the soft track."
"His trackwork leading in to this has been spot on - we haven't been able to fault it."
A glance at Ears The Barman's pedigree would suggest the 4yr-old will handle much further than the 1300m of Wednesday's race.
Alongside Who Shot The Barman, Ears Carol has produced Wollongong (Yamanin Vital), Gallantly (Gallant Guru) and Flag Edition (Raise The Flag) to win at 2000m and beyond.
Though the super producer has also left Vital Organ (Yamanin Vital), who won 5 races between 1200m to 1650m and Serve De Aunt (Nom De Jeu) a winner over 1600m.
Ghibellines' versatility and his ability to leave both speedy and strong horses means Ears The Barman could end up in either camp.
Stokes plans to find out by giving the 4yr-old a good shot at middle distance and staying racing before making a decision on which distance range is best.
"This prep we will stretch him out a little bit to see where he can get to."
"He is just going to be a horse that is going to be better in time, too."
Ears The Barman was purchased by the Wylie-Dalziel out of White Robe Lodge's draft at the 2018 national yearling sales.
There not nearly as much doubt about the direction another of Ghibellines' recent winners.
Golden Harvest relished stepping up to 1400m after two good performances over 1200m when winning on Winter Cup day at Riccarton on Saturday.
The win continued the brilliantly consistent form of the Michael and Matthew Pitman trained 4yr-old.
Golden Harvest is unbeaten in trials and has won twice and placed three times in just six starts.
The White Robe Lodge bred galloper has only missed a placing once, when stumbling out of the gates before putting up a big run to finish sixth in a premier event at last year's New Zealand Cup Carnival.
Golden Harvest was purchased by Michael Pitman from the White Robe Lodge draft at the 2018 South Island Sale.