Record Maiden Winner As Good As Magic Sprite

TRAINER John Carruthers admits keeping a lid on the hype surrounding gifted youngster Mr. Peregrine is going to be no easy task.

TRAINER John Carruthers admits keeping a lid on the hype surrounding gifted youngster Mr. Peregrine is going to be no easy task.

But the difficult quickly shifted to the impossible at The Gardens last Saturday night when the son of Barcia Bale roared away for an ever-widening 17 ¼ length victory on debut in a heat of the Robert Smith Memorial Maiden (515m).

The mesmerising win was recorded in 29.14s, the fastest ever time turned in by a maiden at the venue, eclipsing the 29.22 French Martini ran en route to victory in the same race in 2022, a time mirrored by Jack High when scoring by 20-lengths in 2018.

"With maidens at the races for the first time you're never totally sure what they are going to do – I knew he had the ability so to see him come out and do it was great," Carruthers said.

"His splits (4.96, 17.14, 12.00) tell you he's got it everywhere. If he's got a fault, if you can call it a fault, it's that he's a bit tardy out of the boxes before he gets into gear.

"But he's only had the three 500m runs and is still learning. In time with racing hopefully that improves."

While Mr. Peregrine heads into Saturday night's $20,000-to-the-winner decider as clearly the one to beat, Carruthers has declared that box seven poses some cause for concern.

"You don't see a lot of feature race winners out of box seven – especially at The Gardens," Carruthers added.

"I would have liked to be drawn closer to the fence but so would everybody I'd imagine. If he gets clear room early then hopefully he can get across into the race.

"But I would be surprised if the red (Euphoria) didn't lead after running 4.90 early in its heat. You need things to go right."

Having presided over the career of one of the true greats of the sport in Rapid Journey and Magic Sprite which was retired to stud after winning 10 of his first 11 career starts, Carruthers knows a good dog when he sees one.

And while refusing to get overly animated about the future of Mr. Peregrine and his yet to be beaten brother Not Without, the Castlereagh mentor understands he has plenty of firepower at his disposal.

"They are two different dogs but are doing all the things you want to see from young ones learning," Carruthers added.

"The point comes where they either progress or find their grade. I'd say Mr. Peregrine is as good as Magic Sprite at the same stage. After what he did the other night it's hard to say anything different."

With Saturday night's feature maiden staged in memory of late Hunter Valley group 1 winning trainer Robert Smith, Carruthers added that it would be nice to win the event named in his honour.

"Robert and I were from the same era and crossed paths quite a bit – he was a fantastic person and trainer," Carruthers said.

Mr. Peregrine winning his Robert Smith heat Picture: Steve Whalland

"It's a race I've wanted to go in and try and win and hopefully we can get the job done. I think it's great that Kevin (Gordon) sponsors this race each year and he should be commended for it."

But while the career of Mr. Peregrine and his siblings is just taking off, plans of their dam Angel Glow returning to the racetrack have now been scuppered.

The 16-time winner, which recently ran a flying 18.03 in a Richmond stewards' trial, was engaged to return to the track in a Masters Event on Monday.

"No she won't be racing again," Carruthers said. "She's just too valuable." 


10-Feb-2429.14Mr. Peregrine
04-Mar-2229.22French Martini
01-Dec-1829.22Jack High
25-Aug-2329.25Need A Margarita
25-Apr-1429.30Kicking Rocks
31-Mar-2029.35Zipping Russell
08-May-1829.35Lochinvar Deus
14-Mar-1429.37Sir Redmond
20-Jul-1329.41Ritza Hattie

Latest News Articles