Berisha Wins the Listed Mornington Cup (TBV)

Apr 05, 2016

Al Samer received a welcome homecoming to the Victorian stallion ranks courtesy of his promising stayer Berisha in the Listed $300,000 Mornington Cup (2400m) on Saturday.

The Robert Smerdon trained four year-old created a new course-record at Mornington just days after his sire arrived at Ridgeview Park after a stint in Queensland.

Berisha (4g Al Samer – Beheshta by Brief Truce) powered home to blouse out Big Memory by a nose clocking 2.25.42s. Victory in the $300,000 event has also given the gelding a ballot-free entry into this year’s Caulfield Cup.

“It’s a dream come true,” part-owner and breeder from Ballarat Simon Cox said.

“You’ve gotta be happy to get a black type winner as a breeder from a relatively cheap mare. Robert Smerdon is a genius.”

Cox purchased his dam Beheshta in foal to Al Samer for $3,200 at the 2011 Inglis Great Southern Sale.

“I love the Aga Khan lines and thought she was a bargain,” Cox explained.

“We bought her from Rosemont Stud and Berisha was reared by Tim Johnson at Ealing Park.”

The Ballarat based TBV member only has two mares and the other one – Mina – is the dam of this year’s Group 3 Manfred Stakes winner Puritan.

Swettenham Stud sells Berisha’s half-brother by Zoffany (Lot 167) on behalf of Cox Stewart Thoroughbreds at the Inglis VOBIS Gold yearling sale at Oaklands on April 17.

Al Samer has now sired four stakes winners and studmaster Phil Sloane reports the son of Redoute’s Choice is settling in well at Ridgeview Park.

“What a thrill for all Berisha’s connections!” Sloane said. “We’re very proud to be standing his sire this year.”