Aotea Lad (NZ) Wins Group 2 on Debut

Aotea Lad (NZ) claiming victory in the G2 Wakefiled Challenge Stakes. Photo: Race Images PNth.
Aotea Lad (NZ) claiming victory in the G2 Wakefiled Challenge Stakes. Photo: Race Images PNth.

Karaka Book 1 graduate Aotea Lad (NZ) (Savabeel) began his career on the perfect note at Trentham on Saturday, winning the $100,000 Group 2 Anuka Smoker Wakefield Challenge Stakes (1100m) in his very first start.

The Jamie Richards-trained gelding had shown good ability in a recent trial win and was the $2.20 favourite for the time-honoured two-year-old feature, and he lived up to expectations with a stylish performance.

Rider Opie Bosson positioned him in third-last in the eight-horse field, and he rushed to the lead with a strong turn of foot in the straight. He faced challenges on both flanks, but fought them off and won by half a length.

“He showed a really good turn of foot and got to the lead all by himself, but then a little bit of greenness kicked in,” Bosson said. “He had a look at the big screen.

“He’d had only two trials before this, so he’s going to learn a lot. He’s a special little horse, a little professional and I think he’s got a lot ahead of him.”

Trained by Jamie Richards for the Te Akau Love Life Syndicate, Aotea Lad has had one start for one win, earning $62,500 in prize-money.

He is now likely to be set for the Karaka Million at Ellerslie on January 26.

“He’s got it all ahead of him,” travelling foreman Paul Richards said. “He’ll probably go for the Eclipse Stakes now (Ellerslie, January 1) and then on to the Karaka Million.”

Aotea Lad was offered in Phoenix Park’s draft at the Karaka Book 1 Sale in January of this year, and he was bought for $200,000 by Te Akau principal David Ellis.

The catalogue for Book 1 of Karaka 2019 features a half-sister to Aotea Lad. Lot 651 is a filly by Makfi out of Corsage (NZ) (Volksraad).

Vendor Phoenix Park
Purchaser Mr DC Ellis (Te Akau)
Breeding Savabeel – Corsage
Sale Lot 124, 2018 Karaka Book 1, $200,000
Bred by M W Boyd, D C Ellis, J A Elstob, K W Fenton-Ellis MNZM, J M Langley, G M Southworth, Mrs J & M W Walker


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