Avantage Outstanding in Birthday Card Stakes

On her Australian debut, Avantage (NZ) fought hard to claim the Group 3 Birthday Card Stakes. Photo: Bradley Photographers
On her Australian debut, Avantage (NZ) fought hard to claim the Group 3 Birthday Card Stakes. Photo: Bradley Photographers

Star Karaka graduate Avantage (Fastnet Rock) made a triumphant Australian debut at Rosehill on Saturday, fighting back after being headed to win the A$160,000 Group 3 Birthday Card Stakes (1200m).

Bought for $210,000 at the 2017 Premier Sale by Te Akau principal David Ellis, Avantage was New Zealand’s champion two-year-old last season with victories in the $1 million Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) and in the Group 1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m).

She was side-lined by a muscle issue after winning the Group 3 Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) in the spring, but on Saturday she resumed on a high.

Avantage began well and was on the lead throughout the fillies and mares’ feature, but she was clearly headed in the straight by the favourite Resin (Exceed and Excel).

Rider Opie Bosson didn’t panic, however, and Avantage fought her way back level with the Godolphin mare. She edged away in the closing stages, scoring an outstanding victory by three-quarters of a length.

“She’s a lovely little filly and she doesn’t know when to lie down,” Bosson said. “She’s a top-quality filly back home and she has done nothing wrong so far.

“She’s got heaps of improvement. She had such a long time off. This is a bonus win first-up.”

Avantage has now had eight starts for seven wins, one second and more than $820,000 in prize-money for owners the Te Akau Avantage Syndicate.

“I probably didn’t expect her to land in front today, but I thought it was a lovely patient ride by Opie, he never panicked,” trainer Jamie Richards said. “He got headed but she fought back to win well.

“She’s always been a high-class filly and hopefully we can work through to The Championships now with a little bit of confidence that hopefully she can step up.”

Her next target is the A$1 million Group 2 Arrowfield 3YO Sprint (1200m) at Randwick on April 13.

Vendor The Oaks Stud
Purchaser Mr DC Ellis (Te Akau)
Breeding Fastnet Rock – Asavant
Sale Lot 50, 2017 Premier Sale, $210,000
Bred by Mr W Calder & Mrs K N Calder

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