Karaka Trifecta in Wellington Guineas

Karaka graduates dominated the Group 2 Norwood Family Wellington Guineas with a trifecta by Emily Margaret (NZ), Vigor Winner and Dawn Patrol (NZ). Photo: Trish Dunell
Karaka graduates dominated the Group 2 Norwood Family Wellington Guineas with a trifecta by Emily Margaret (NZ), Vigor Winner and Dawn Patrol (NZ). Photo: Trish Dunell

Among a star-studded line-up for Saturday’s Group 2 Norwood Family Wellington Guineas (1400m) at Trentham, Karaka graduates dominated the finish with a trifecta by Emily Margaret (NZ) (Pins), Vigor Winner (Declaration of War) and Dawn Patrol (NZ) (Dawn Approach).

South Island filly Emily Margaret, who cost $55,000 at the 2017 Select Sale, was already a dual stakes winner in the Listed Canterbury Belle Stakes (1200m) and Listed NZB Insurance Stakes (1400m) – the first two legs of the New Zealand Bloodstock South Island Filly of the Year Series.

On Saturday she ventured north and came out on top again, this time against the best of either sex and from both islands.

But this was a very different performance to her last-start win in the NZB Insurance Stakes, where she led all the way and the result never looked in doubt.

This time she dropped out to the back of the field and had to make a huge late run out wide, getting up to beat Vigor Winner by a half-head. Dawn Patrol was another short neck away in third.

“My gosh,” jockey Robert Hannam said. “The plan was not to go back today – it was the opposite of that. But I got squeezed back in the early stages. Plan A and B went out the window, and Plans D and E came into effect.

“I’d been through her form and I knew she’d won a race from the back once before, so I decided to sit back. I knew the outer part of the track would be better, so I waited and gave her one run at them out wide. She was so tough.”

Emily Margaret has now had 12 starts for four wins, five placings and $152,625 in stakes for owners Rodger and Emily Finlay.

Runner-up Vigor Winner was bought for $50,000 at the 2017 Ready to Run Sale. He has won two of his three starts, and today’s second placing lifted his earnings to $70,250.

Saturday’s third placegetter Dawn Patrol cost just $20,000 at the 2017 Select Sale. His five starts have produced two wins and three stakes placings, headed by a second in the Group 1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) in November. He has earned $127,575.

Emily Margaret is the clear leader in the South Island Filly of the Year Series with 14 points, and her next target is likely to be the third leg of that Series – the $50,000 Listed NZB Airfreight Stakes (1600m) at Riccarton on April 6.

“We want to win the South Island Filly of the Year Series,” co-trainer Kevin Hughes said. “We’ll try her over 1600 metres in the Airfreight Stakes.”

Vendor Trelawney Stud Ltd
Purchaser Mr RJ Finlay (Christchurch)
Breeding Pins – Secret Schillings
Sale Lot 1012, 2017 Select Sale, $55,000
Bred by Archer Equine Investments Ltd

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