Foaled and raised at Yarraman Park for Shadwell, two year-old Epaulette filly Aryaaf made a winning debut at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day when taking out the Group III VRC Ottawa Stakes (1000m).
Despite racing greenly for Luke Nolen, the Lindsay Park trained Aryaaf proved too strong for I Am Invincible filly Muntaseera, who also ran a lovely race to finish second beaten nearly two lengths.
Nolen said Aryaaf will improve with time.
“She was a little wayward when I asked her to fully extend but she possesses real nice ability and she is still quite small so she is going to furnish into a real nice filly given time,” Nolen said.
Co-trainer David Hayes celebrated his 54th win at the Melbourne Cup carnival, overtaking TJ Smith and behind only Bart Cummings, Colin Hayes and Lee Freedman.
“She was a very impressive winner and I know she will run 1200 metres because she did today,” Hayes quipped.
“I just love winning for Sheikh Hamdan who has been a great supporter over a lot of years.”
Aryaaf is a three-quarter sister-in-blood to Group III winner Khulaasa and is the first winner for stakes-winning juvenile Bulbula, a Shamardal (USA) daughter of stakes-winner Taameer.
Bulbula was also bred by Shadwell and foaled and raised at Yarraman.
All of the stakes-winners in this immediate family are juvenile stakes-winners so the precocious success of Aryaaf should come as no surprise.
Bulbula has a yearling filly by Sebring and has foaled this spring producing a colt by Snitzel.