Avantage Stars in Telegraph

Avantage takes out the second leg of the NZB Insurance Sprint Triple Crown Series. Photo: Race Images.
Avantage takes out the second leg of the NZB Insurance Sprint Triple Crown Series. Photo: Race Images.

The NZB Insurance Sprint Triple Crown hopes of Julius (NZ) (Swiss Ace) were extinguished at Trentham on Saturday as Avantage (Fastnet Rock) powered to victory in the second leg of the Series, the $250,000 Group 1 JR & N Berkett Telegraph (1200m).

When the Series began at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day with the Group 1 Sistema Railway (1200m), it was Julius who triumphed with a superb performance.

He did his connections proud again on Saturday with a gallant fourth, but Avantage was all class and quality.

Given a magnificent ride by Opie Bosson from the extreme outside gate, Avantage was in a perfect position at the top of the straight and poised to pounce.

She produced an irresistible finishing burst, gradually overpowering the two-time defending Telegraph champion Enzo’s Lad (Testa Rossa) and winning by a short neck. Spring Heat (More Than Ready) finished another two and three-quarter lengths away in third.

For trainer Jamie Richards and the Te Akau Racing team, Avantage’s win banished any bad memories from the Telegraph 12 months ago, where superstar mare Melody Belle (NZ) (Commands) produced an inexplicably poor performance that was the worst of her glittering career.

“She (Avantage) is a proper good horse,” Richards said.

“We made a mistake taking her to Sydney in the spring after things didn’t go our way at Ruakaka first-up. I’m glad that we can repay the owners’ faith and get a good Group 1 with her.

“She’s all class and is just a real racehorse. She’s so strong, built like a colt.

“It’s a great thrill for everybody involved as Dave (Ellis) tries to buy the best horses that we can for our owners. To get these results a week out from the Sale (Karaka 2020) is really important for the whole business.”

Avantage was a $210,000 purchase by Ellis at the 2017 Premier Sale at Karaka.

She has now had 14 starts for eight wins, four placings and more than $1.1 million in stakes. Her previous notable victories include the Karaka Million (1200m), the Group 1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) and the Group 3 Birthday Card Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill in Sydney last March.

The NZB Insurance Sprint Triple Crown Series will conclude at Te Rapa on February 8 with the $200,000 Group 1 BCD Group Sprint (1400m), which is likely to be a target for Avantage.

The Sprint Triple Crown is one of three NZB Insurance Triple Crown Series introduced this year.

The Weight-for-Age Triple Crown began with the Group 1 Zabeel Classic (2000m) at Ellerslie on Boxing Day, which was won by True Enough (NZ) (Nom du Jeu). The Series will continue on February 8 with the $400,000 Group 1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m), then concludes with the $200,000 Group 1 New Zealand Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie on March 7.

The third Series is the Fillies and Mares Triple Crown, made up of the $70,000 Group 3 Cuddle Stakes (1600m) at Trentham on March 14, the $200,000 Group 1 Fiber Fresh New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m) at Te Aroha on April 4, and the $100,000 Group 2 Travis Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa on April 25.

In each of the three Series, there is a $100,000 Triple Crown Bonus available for any horse who can win all three races.

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

‹ Back