Ghibellines dominates Southern Guineas races

Ghibellines three-year-old Palmetto strides out to his second Listed Guineas win at Ascot Park. Photo: Monica Toretto

By Jonny Turner 

Palmetto completed an utter domination of the Southern Guineas Triple Crown by Ghibellines with his victory in the Listed Southland Guineas at Ascot Park on Saturday.

Palmetto (Ghibellines-Carolina Island-Darcia Brahma) added the Invercargill feature to his victory in the Listed Dunedin Guineas when running to the easiest of victories for trainer Sally McKay and longtime former White Robe Lodge rider Shankar Muniandy.

With White Robe Lodge’s Ruby’s Lad (Ghibellines-Ruby’s Rose-Gallant Guru) running a narrow second in the Listed Gore Guineas, the Southern Guineas Triple Crown was completely dominated by Ghibellines, who continues to produce high quality racehorses which win good races across Australasia.

Sally McKay has a big opinion of Palmetto who may head for a break so that he can continue the excellent progression he has made over summer.

“I haven’t looked any further than today, I just wanted to get him to the race and for him to do his best,” she said.

“There isn’t really a lot for him going forward so it might be we put him away for a break as he is going to be such a lovely stayer next season.”

“The penny has dropped now and he is a real racehorse.”

To say Ghibellines has been on fire in February could be a massive understatement.

Alongside his dual Listed victories, the sire has produced a swag of winners.

They include Tactfull (Ghibellines-Tackit-Pins) who ran to a deserved maiden win over 1400m at Wingatui on Champions Day for owner and trainer Claire Anderton.

Lily Of The Valley (Ghibellines-Mikabella-Kingmaker) was next, winning for breeder, co-owners and trainer Bill McNamara at Ascot Park over 1600m.

Mr Ghibson (Ghibellines-Thewayiam-Thewayyouare) also scored for his breeder-owners Anray Holdings Ltd at Riccarton later in February.

The outstanding run of success Ghibellines has produced recently has come as no surprise to Brian Anderton.

He has always had plenty of faith in his sire.

“I have always had great faith in the horse and it is great that is producing results like this.”

“A lot of them showed a bit early and people rushed them a bit.”

“But with a little bit of time they can do a really good job.”

“We are bringing more through the system at the moment and we think can they do a very good job, so we will be setting our sights pretty high with them.”

One thing is for certain with Ghibellines.

Few stallions in the world who have had his level of success are available to breeders at such an affordable stud fee of $5000.