Areti Flies At Debut

Feb 05, 2016

Not only was it a super impressive victory recorded by debutant Areti at Moonee Valley on Friday night, but it was also a significant one - the filly the very first metropolitan home-bred winner for Hillside Parade Racing & Breeding.

Established in 2012 by Peter Arvanitis and overseen by Peter Ford (best known for his selection of Rick Jamieson's wonderful mare Helsinge, dam of Black Caviar), Hillside is making an instant impact with three of their first crop of two-year-olds already making it to the track - and all showing above average ability.

And we are thrilled that one of those is in our care and that the name Areti was chosen for her.

"Peter Arvanitis has always wanted to name a horse after his lovely wife Areti and I did not want to waste such a good name on a slow horse," Robbie Griffiths said.

"So when this filly showed so much speed I told him that she was the one."

And he chose perfectly, Areti doing a great job from a tricky gate at her first start, doing a bit of work early before taking a sit off a fast pace - taking the lead turning and giving a good kick, her winning margin a soft 1 3/4 length.

"She has shown talent from day one," Robbie enthused.

"I was a bit worried about the wide barrier - we scratched her last week with a bad gate but we hope to get her to the Blue Diamond so she had to have a run."

Paying up for her third acceptance for that major during the week, Robbie said that Areti is a natural runner - "she does everything right at home and it was great to see her come to the races and do such a good job."

Robbie, who has a strong team of two-year-olds heading towards the Blue Diamond, was delighted for Hillside's Peter Ford who purchased Areti's well related dam Ajamais in France five years ago.

And the family has really taken off since, Ajamais' stakes placed half-sister High Maintenance producing last year's European Champion Older horse Solow. And what a horse he has been, winning his last nine in a row and 12 of his last 13 starts.

Robbie said it was a shame that neither Peter Arvanitis or Peter Ford could be present for the win but the former was quickly on the phone - "he is pumped!" Robbie said, looking forward to catching up for celebrations.

Ford meanwhile was still smiling the next day, noting the win to be "one of the most satisfying moments of my career."

"I actually got more off a thrill from this win than any of Black Caviar's!"

Jockey Mark Zahra was impressed by Areti's performance, noting that she settled well - "she was quickly away and whilst they went quickly early she was able to get a break during the race. I thought something might be able to finish over the top of her but she was just too good."

An Americain half-sister to Areti is a feature of Hillside's draft at the upcoming Melbourne Premier Yearling sale.

Thanks to Grant Courtney for the winning photo