Victorian two-year-old racing providing early highlights

Just three years removed from that vaunted two-year-old pacing group of American bred stars that included Always B Miki, Betting Line and Racing Hill and brilliant local Bling It On, another crop is emerging that may end up fairly deep as well.

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It's not even April yet and the two-year-olds are just barely into the classics season. Yet, Victoria's group of freshmen pacers are right up there with the best from any other season.

At the very top of that list is The Highlight Reel, who followed some brilliant trials form with a convincing end-to-end win on debut in the Shakamaker Classic at Melton last Saturday night.

By the Australian 3YO colt of the Year Poster Boy (by Somebeachsomewhere), who has served strong books in his first four seasons at the stud, The Highlight Reel was a $10,000 buy from the 2023 Nutrien Equine Sydney Yearling Sale. Out of the unraced Rockin Diva, The Highlight Reel is a half-brother to the 1:56.4 pacer Call Me Diva.

Poster Boy has now sired three individual winners from 10 starters in his first crop.

Another top youngster is the Sportswriter colt Hesitate. A winner at his first two outings including the Victoria Premier Stakes, the colt was forced to sit parked for the last lap when a gallant second to The Highlight Reel in the Shakamaker Classic.

Stay Hungry, another son of 'Somebeach', is the leading first season sire on the score of winners, races won and stakemoney. His four winners so far are headed up by the WA Sales Classic heat winner and final runner-up Louie Vee.

Alabar Bloodstock's Captain Crunch and The Storm Inside and the NSW based McWicked have all produced a brace of two-year-old winners.

Soho Tribeca, the Llowalong Farms' studmate of Poster Boy, figures as the sire of the 1:56.5 Menangle winner Soho The Real Deal and two placegetters from six starters.

The battle for the title of leading first crop sire will be a sideshow of a two-year-old racing calendar chock full of rich classics and feature events.

Kowalski Analysis, a Roll With Joe gelding bred and raced by brothers Terry and David Lewis, notched his second country cup success when he scored a hard fought win in the Ouyen Pacing Cup

The Victorian-bred Constantinople put up the fourth fastest ever mile by a trotter in this country when he clocked 1:52.9 at Menangle. The Trixton gelding was bred by Goulburn Valley horseman John Hallam

Shes Sky High, a filly by leading colonial sire Skyvalley, won the first two-year-old trotting race of the season at Maryborough. Bred by Carmen Abela, the filly is the first foal of the Angus Hall mare Peggyhall.