The Ciaron Maher & David Eustace-trained American import Lighthouse broke through for her first Group 1 down under in the wet at Rosehill Gardens powering home late to outclass her rivals in the Group 1 $600,000 Coolmore Classic (1500m).

Lighthouse | Photo: Steve Hart |

Lighthouse was excellent winning the 2022 Coolmore Classic in Sydney. Photo: Steve Hart.

Having run second in both the C.F. Orr Stakes and the Canterbury Stakes over 1400m and 1300m respectively at her last two starts, the five-year-old daughter of Mizzen Mast was given a confident ride on the quick back-up in the Coolmore by Jason Collett.

Collett continued his excellent recent form on the Heavy Sydney tracks, presenting the flashy grey at the right time having travelled sweetly fifth throughout just off the pace set by Expat up front.

“I had a perfect run,” Collett, now a three-time Group 1 winner, told the media post-win.

“I probably wanted to be just behind the speed but there were a couple that were just too quick. I ended up getting into a good spot and when I pushed the button I quickened nicely. I got to the front at the furlong and thought I could be in trouble but had enough break on them.

“They’ve gone through the grades and found a really suitable race here. A very good effort, I’m very thankful for the ride.”

The hoop moved closer approaching the turn for home and once he hit the button at the 200m, it was all over, Lighthouse digging in and racing off for a comprehensive two length win over Team Snowden’s 25/1 roughie Mirra Vision.

“Couldn’t have been more proud of her,” Sam Clipperton, aboard the runner-up, said of Mirra Vision after the run.

Just in behind her with nothing between second and third was Chris Waller’s Surround Stakes winning filly Hinged in another good late run.

“Very good run. I got caught in the cheap seats. She was fantastic,” William Pike, aboard Hinged, commented.

The victory saw Maher & Eustace celebrate their 13th Group 1 win as a partnership.

Co-trainer Maher confirmed plans to head next-up into the Group 1 $1 million Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) over the Randwick mile during next month’s The Championships.

“She probably goes to the other Coolmore (Legacy, now Queen Of The Turf Stakes),” he said.

“She carried a fair bit of weight today, so the weight-for-age conditions probably suit her. She has backed up so she will have an easy couple of weeks and get ready for that.

“I’m not sure what they’re going to do, whether she goes to stud at the end of this season. They’ve got a lot of horses so I would say they’d be pretty keen to send a few more over.”

All-in markets on the 2022 Queen Of The Turf Stakes through have Lighthouse listed at $13.

Favourite remains the beaten favourite in the Coolmore, Espiona, who was last throughout and never in it eventually running over five lengths back eighth.

“She didn’t jump again which proved very costly,” Espiona’s jockey Jay Ford said.

“We weren’t able to capitalise on the good draw. Obviously, we were well back. She did find the line OK. Just needs to iron out the kinks.”



About The Author

Lucy Henderson

Lucy is an experienced horse racing journalist that has been a crucial member of the team for the better part of a decade. She has taken great delight in covering champion mares Black Caviar and Winx throughout their careers and always has a soft spot for a winning filly.