Mr Brightside notched his fourth Group One victory in comfortable fashion when landing the MakybeDiva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on Saturday.
In a small field of seven that always looked a tactical affair, winning jockey Craig Williams took luck out of the equation as he settled one-out one-back on the unassuming son of Bullbars.
With his great rival Alligator Blood setting a sedate tempo and giving a strong kick turning for home, Mr Brightside ambled past his chief combatant to score by a length and a half, with Osipenkoperforming with credit in third.
The six-year-old Kiwi import is a winning machine and has been a flag-bearer for his Lindsay Park conditioners of Ben, Will and JD Hayes.
"He was a superstar today,” Ben Hayes said.
“Craig just let the race unfold and we ended up in the one-one which we thought was a possibility, followed Waller's horse (Princess Grace) into the bend and travelled so strongly and it was quite an easy watch. It was the first time I've seen him with his tongue out, so he's sticking his tongue out at them but he won well and he's such an exciting horse, we're so proud of him. He’s an incredible horse.
“Flemington's the number one track in Australia and to have a horse of his quality be able to win and win like he did, albeit in a small field, I think he stamped his authority again today and he's definitely the horse to catch now, which is very exciting for us and I hope we can enjoy the ride even more.”
Having surpassed the A$9 million mark in earnings, Mr Brightside is likely to head to Sydney for his next assignment with the A$5 million Gr.1 King Charles III Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on October 14.
“We'll see how he pulls up first. We've always got to see how the horse pulls up but at this stage we are leaning towards Sydney and the King Charles. He's undefeated over a mile at weight-for-age and just won here very impressively, so I think it's a good race to head to and I think that's two weeks into a Cox Plate (Gr.1, 2040m) which would be pretty good for him,” Hayes said.
Mr Brightside is undefeated in three starts this campaign, and becomes the first horse to complete the Gr.2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m), Gr.1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) and Gr.1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) treble.
Winning rider Craig Williams has had a tumultuous week after losing the ride on top sprinter Giga Kick, but was back on a high with the ever reliable Mr Brightside.
“Full credit to Lindsay Park, all their team, the Hayes boys, Will his strapper who's got a really good handle on him and again I'd like to thank my family, my friends and my team around me because they put us into this position but that was pretty effortless,” he said.
“It was a great thrill to win a Makybe Diva Stakes in such great fashion and especially with a horse I've spent so much time with and part of his development, it's very special for me.
“He's amazing but full credit, obviously he's an amazing product so for them (the Hayes team) to source this horse in New Zealand… no top horse is given, they're developed and he's a perfect example.”
A son of the former Highview Stud stallion Bullbars, Mr Brightside is out of the Tavistock mare Lilahjay, who is also the dam of Will Power, an eight-time winner in Hong Kong.
Mr Brightside was bred by Ray Johnson in partnership with his late wife Martha. He was sold as a yearling for $22,000 via Janine Dunlop’s Phoenix Park at the 2019 New Zealand Bloodstock May Sale, then failed to meet his $50,000 reserve when re-offered at the New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run Sale.
Later an opportunity arose for Johnson to buy him back on gavelhouse.com for just $7,750, in conjunction with Cambridge trainer Ralph Manning and good friend Shaun Dromgool.
Mr Brightside finished a luckless fifth in his sole New Zealand start at Matamata for Manning, having previously won a trial. He was subsequently sold privately to clients of the Hayes stable via Australian agent Wayne Ormond. The Kiwi-bred star has now won 14 of his 26 starts, with a further four placings and boasts prizemoney of A$9,333,752. – NZ Racing Desk