Felaar Prevails in Hawke’s Bay Cup

Felaar (NZ) (Ekraar) picked up his first stakes win in the Listed Hawke’s Bay Cup. Photo: Trish Dunell
Felaar (NZ) (Ekraar) picked up his first stakes win in the Listed Hawke’s Bay Cup. Photo: Trish Dunell

Felaar (NZ) (Ekraar), who could have been bought for just $10,000 at the 2015 Festival Sale at Karaka, picked up his first stakes win with a thrilling victory in Saturday’s $75,000 Listed Royston Hospital Hawke’s Bay Cup (2200m) at Hastings.

The gelding had already proven himself at black-type level with placings in the Listed New Zealand St Leger (2500m), Listed Metropolitan Trophy (2500m) and Group 3 New Zealand Cup (3200m).

Ridden on Saturday by Leith Innes for Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh, Felaar raced in midfield and was travelling ominously smoothly approaching the home turn.

The five-year-old loomed on the outside in the straight, but the front-running Igraine (Galileo) refused to give up without a fight.

Felaar and the Group 3 Counties Cup (2100m) winner threw everything at each other in the last 100 metres, but Felaar came out on top by a half-head. Jacksstar (NZ) (Zed), a last-start winner of the Group 2 Awapuni Gold Cup (2000m), was a half-length away in third.

“The way he was travelling I thought we would be winning it by two or three lengths when we turned for home,” Innes said.

“To the mare’s credit (Igraine) she really fought back well and made it pretty close. In saying that she is a very good horse, so for him to get up and win is a good achievement.

“He’s still a big baby really and learning all the time, but when he puts it all together, he will be a very good horse.

“I’m not sure what plans they have for him, but to my mind he wouldn’t be out of place over in Brisbane this winter.”

Raced by Marsh in partnership with Leo Molloy and NZB’s Sir Peter Vela, Felaar has now had 19 starts for four wins, nine placings and $177,300 in earnings – more than 13 times his Karaka reserve.

“He really is still learning, so it makes a decision on what we do with him next a little harder,” Marsh said.

“He does look like a good candidate for some of the staying races in Brisbane, but the right thing to do might be to keep him home, keep progressing slowly with him and wait for a serious attack in the spring.

“I’m just not sure at this stage, but the win today will definitely help him up the learning curve.”

Vendor Monovale Farm
Breeding Ekraar – Felt That
Sale Lot 1325, 2015 Festival Sale, Psd (Res $10,000)
Bred by Monovale Holdings Ltd

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