NZB Graduates Secure Weekend Victories

Avantage (Fastnet Rock) claims the Group One $200,000 Haunui Farm WFA Classic (1600m).
Avantage (Fastnet Rock) claims the Group One $200,000 Haunui Farm WFA Classic (1600m).

Avantage Claims Third Group One Win

Karaka graduate Avantage (Fastnet Rock) extended her excellence to a new distance on Saturday, collecting the third Group One trophy of her career in the $200,000 Haunui Farm WFA Classic (1600m) at Otaki.

Bought for $210,000 by David Ellis at the 2017 Premier Sale at Karaka, Avantage won the $1m Karaka Million (1200m) and Group One Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) during a superb two-year-old season.

She starred in one of New Zealand’s biggest sprints earlier this year, capturing the Group One Telegraph (1200m) at Trentham in a sizzling time of 1:07.04.

Avantage attempted 1600 metres for the first time on Saturday, and she passed the test with flying colours.

Ridden by Danielle Johnson, the four-year-old raced in midfield before cutting the corner and bursting to the lead at the top of the straight. She kept going strongly to the line, beating fast-finishing stablemate Prise De Fer (NZ) (Savabeel) by three-quarters of a length.

Avantage has now had 16 starts for nine wins, four placings and more than $1.3 million in stakes.

“I thought Avantage really deserved that win,” trainer Jamie Richards said. “She was New Zealand’s champion two-year-old of her year, then she was a Group winner in Sydney as a three-year-old. She showed what a good sprinter she is in the Telegraph this season, and now she’s won at weight-for-age over a mile as well. She deserves it, and it’s a top result for a fantastic group of owners.”

Avantage headed an all-Karaka trifecta in the Group One feature.

Runner-up Prise De Fer was a $100,000 purchase at the 2017 Premier Sale. He has now had 13 starts for six wins, four placings and $233,625 in prize-money. Prior to Saturday’s Group One placing, he won five races in a row including the Group Two Rich Hill Mile (1600m) and Group Three Taranaki Cup (1800m).

The third placegetter was The Chosen One (NZ) (Savabeel), who was passed in at the 2017 Premier Sale with a reserve of $150,000. His 18 starts have produced five wins to date, headed by Australian victories in the Group Two Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) and Group Three Frank Packer Plate (2000m). He has earned $706,905.

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

Golden Sixty Too Strong Again in Classic Cup

Golden Sixty wins HK$10 million Hong Kong Classic Cup (1800m).
Golden Sixty wins HK$10 million Hong Kong Classic Cup (1800m).

A shot at history awaits Golden Sixty (Medaglia d’Oro) following his outstanding win in Sunday’s HK$10 million Hong Kong Classic Cup (1800m) at Sha Tin.

Bought for $300,000 at the 2017 Ready to Run Sale at Karaka, Golden Sixty has the chance to become just the second horse ever to complete a clean sweep of Hong Kong’s Four-Year-Old Classic Series – the Hong Kong Classic Mile (1600m), Hong Kong Classic Cup, and the Hong Kong Derby (2000m) on March 22.

Golden Sixty was a brilliant winner of last month’s Classic Mile, and he starred again in Sunday’s second leg despite a setback in between races.

“He had a temperature two weeks ago,” trainer Francis Lui said. “I was very worried he would miss this race, I tried everything to work it out and finally we got it and he still performed today. He is very tough.”

Ridden by Vincent Ho, Golden Sixty settled in eighth place in the 10-horse field before making his move in the straight. He determinedly wore down Champion’s Way (Hinchinbrook) and won by half a length.

“He’s not 100%, that’s for sure – he’s about 75% or 80%,” Ho said. “He won this race because he has a really good fighting heart.

“He’s really tough and he wants to fight – when horses come close to him, he wants to win. He’s a tough and talented horse.”

Golden Sixty has now had 10 starts for nine wins, and Sunday’s win took him past HK$20 million in stakes. That’s the equivalent of NZ$4.04 million, which is more than 13 times his purchase price.

Vendor Riversley Park Ltd
Purchaser Mr F Lui (Hong Kong)
Breeding Medaglia d’Oro – Gaudeamus
Sale Lot 136, 2017 Ready to Run Sale, $300,000
Bred by Asco International Pty Ltd, Qld

Need I Say More a Stakes Winner at Second Start

Need I Say More dominates Group three Waikato Stud Slipper (1200m).
Need I Say More dominates Group three Waikato Stud Slipper (1200m).

Undefeated Karaka graduate Need I Say More (No Nay Never) stepped up to stakes level at just his second start on Saturday and excelled, winning the $70,000 Group three Waikato Stud Slipper (1200m) at Matamata.

Bought for $130,000 from Book 1 of Karaka 2019, Need I Say More began his career with a dominant victory at Matamata on February 2.

Less than three weeks later he returned to the same course for a much more difficult assignment, but the result was the same. After trailing the early leader Snapper (NZ) (Power), Need I Say More changed gears in the straight and charged to the lead.

His stablemate Cool Aza Beel (NZ) (Savabeel) tried to reel him in, but Need I Say More was too strong and won by two and a half lengths.

Trained by Jamie Richards for the Te Akau Never Say Die Syndicate, Need I Say More has had two starts for two wins and $50,000 in stakes.

“He’s definitely a nice horse and really starting to come to it now,” Richards said.

“He’s needed a bit of time but he’s by a very good stallion in No Nay Never out of a Fastnet Rock mare who had a lot of success.

“We gelded him, put the hood on him and gave him a bit of a hurry up at the trials here one day and he really lengthened well. He hasn’t taken a backwards step since then.”

The Slipper produced an all-Karaka trifecta. Runner-up Cool Aza Beel was bought for $150,000 from Book 1 of Karaka 2019. He has won three of his five starts and $587,560, headed by a brilliant win in last month’s $1m Karaka Million 2YO (1200m).

The third-placed Snapper was a $60,000 purchase from Book 1 of Karaka 2019.

Vendor Kilgravin Lodge
Purchaser Mr DC Ellis (Te Akau)
Breeding No Nay Never – Bo Bardi
Sale Lot 606, Karaka 2019 Book 1, $130,000
Bred by Burnewang North Pastoral

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