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Kingsguard Wins Gr3 Hawkesbury Gold Cup
7. Kingsguard (5)
J: B Avdulla
T: M, W & J Hawkes
W: 53 kgs
S: Rip Van Winkle
D: Her Royal Highness
2. Ecuador (7)
J: A Hyeronimus
T: G Waterhouse & A Bott
W: 59 kgs
S: High Chaparral
D: Bak Da Princess
5. McCreery (2)
J: T Angland
T: C J Waller
W: 56.5 kgs
S: Big Bad Bob
3. Duca Valentinois (3)
J: B Shinn
T: James Cummings
W: 57 kgs
S: Holy Roman Emperor
D: Love Valentine
At Hawkesbury north-west of Sydney, Windsor Park Stud's triple Gr1-winning shuttler Rip Van Winkle (Galileo-Looking Back, by Stravinsky) added a Group race success when 5YO New Zealand-bred gelding Kingsguard (Rip Van Winkle-Her Royal Highness, by Volksraad) opened his stakes account with a tough front-running win in the $200,000 Gr3 Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m) for 3YO+, defeating Ecuador & McCreery. Bred and raced by Windsor Park Stud, Kingsguard improved his record to 5 wins and 11 placings from 27 starts for $389,383 in earnings. Kingsguard looked a horse with plenty of potential during his early career in New Zealand which included a second place to NZ 2000 Guineas winner Xtravagant during the 2015 Ellerslie Christmas Carnival, reports NZ Racing Desk. "He had shown us plenty in his early days here in New Zealand," said Windsor Park Stud Manager Rodney Schick. "He pushed Xtravagant hard at Ellerslie and then ran third behind Mackintosh and Raghu at his next start. He probably just wasn't strong enough at that stage to round things off but once he got to Sydney he really started to develop and has gone from strength to strength."
Embellish Profiles Well For Guineas
The astute Te Akau Racing team of Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards is set to launch a likely Gr1 Australian Guineas (March 3rd) raid with promising Savabeel 3YO Embellish in tomorrow's Gr3 C.S.Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington. Having attempted to claim the prestigious 3YO event only two years ago with then favourite Xtravagant (also winner of the Gr1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas), Autridge appears convinced that Embellish holds the physical and strategic assets to pose a serious threat in the AustralianGuineas, noting, “They are different types, Xtravagant was a speed horse and Embellish settles well. We believe he is a better sort of horse for the Australian Guineas than Xtravagant because he can sit off the pace and he’s got a great turn of foot that will suit Flemington.” Embellish has started twice since his NZ 2000 Guineas triumph for a 4th on Boxing Day and a super 2nd in the Karaka Million Classic (1600m) when closing late. Arriving in Melbourne earlier this week, Autridge commented, “He’s come through [the Karaka Million] nicely and I can’t believe how well he’s done since he got here. The 1400m at Flemington on Saturday will be like a mile back home so that shouldn’t be a problem.”
Crack colt Embellish (pic: Peter Rubery)
Rich Hill Farewell Pentire
The New Zealand breeding industry has lost one of its most versatile stallions with Rich Hill Stud reporting the death on Monday of Pentire. He was 25. A dual Gr1 winner of the Irish Champion Stakes & King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes, the UK-bred Pentire (Be My Guest-Gull Nook, by Mill Reef) was the Walton farm's foundation sire and subsequently made his mark from his base near Matamata at the elite level throughout Australasia and further afield. "He was 25, but I thought he was going to live forever - he was still serving and so healthy and well," studmaster John Thompson said. "We noticed after lunch on Monday he looked a bit uncomfortable and I got a bad feeling about it, in 20 years we'd only had the vet to him twice. We got him to the clinic and he went into surgery and when they opened him up they found a tumour that the intestine had wrapped around." Thompson continued: "They removed the growth and the intestine hadn't been compromised. They got him into recovery, but sadly he didn't wake up." Pentire has hitherto sired 16 individual Gr1 winners, headed by 10-time Gr1 winner and two-time New Zealand Horse of the Year Mufhasa. His other top progeny include 4-time Gr1 winner Xcellent, NZ 2,000 Guineas winner Xtravagant, Melbourne Cup winner Prince Of Penzance, and fellow Gr1 winners Zarita, Rangirangdoo, Pantani, Art Success, Chenille, Penny Gem, Pentane, Recurring, Markus Maximus, Say No More, Volatile Mix and Ferlax. "It just won't be the same around here without him, but his legacy will live on and Pentire is always going to be seen as a strength in any pedigree," Thompson added. "He's had four Group One winners in the last two seasons and I'm certain there are more to come." Pentire was buried at Rich Hill on Tuesday.
Pentire's Prince of Penzance winning the 2015 Melbourne Cup (image: Mark Gatt)
NZB Weanling, Broodmare & Mixed Bloodstock Catalogue Online
The catalogue for New Zealand Bloodstock's National Weanling, Broodmare & Mixed Bloodstock Sale is now available online. The Sale will this year be compacted into two action-packed days of selling on the 8th and 9th of May, with a total of 484 horses catalogued. The first day will be made up entirely of Weanlings, with 220 lots set to go under the hammer. Another 75 Weanlings are scheduled to be sold on the second day, followed by Yearlings (10), Two-Year-Olds (4), Unraced Stock (1), Racehorses (7), Stallion Shares (6) and Broodmares (161). The quality of this Sale has been spectacularly showcased on the Gr1 stage on both sides of the Tasman recently by Gingernuts, who was knocked down to a $5000 bid made by Phill Cataldo at the 2014 Sale. Now raced by his Ready to Run Sale purchasers Te Akau, Gingernuts has won the Gr2 Avondale Guineas, Gr1 New Zealand Derby and Gr1 Rosehill Guineas in his last three starts. I Am A Star has been a headline performer in her own right, purchased for $12,000 at the 2014 Sale and the winner of four stakes races including last October's Gr1 Myer Classic at Flemington. There is an abundance of quality in this year's catalogue too, with siblings to Gr1 winners Zabrasive, Xtravagant, Alamosa, Darci Brahma, Great Command, Prized Gem, Booming, Fully Fledged, The Mighty Lions, Recurring, Lady Madonna, Art Success, Cheeky Choice, Kindacross, Vespa, Romantic Touch, Veloce Bella, Distant View and Eileen Dubh. This year's Sale will feature a broad range of sires, with weanlings by 62 different sires. The current top five sires in New Zealand all have weanling progeny in the catalogue – Savabeel (4), Iffraaj (6), Darci Brahma (5), Tavistock (7) and Pins (11) - while 91 sires are represented in the broodmare catalogue including the deceased champions Zabeel (7) and O'Reilly (8). Selling begins at 10am each day on the 8th and 9th of May at Karaka. Click here to view the online catalogue.
Newhaven Park To Stand Champion Xtravagant
In a coup for the Australian breeding industry, Newhaven Park has announced that the NSW stud farm has secured Champion New Zealand 3YO Xtravagant (Pentire-Axiom) for stud duties. A sensational 8-length debut winner at his only start at two, as a 3YO Xtravagant won the Gr1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas by 8.5-lengths in race record time before beating older horses in the Gr1 Waikato Sprint, again by an extraordinary margin of 8-lengths. “He was a breathtaking racehorse with phenomenal speed… his record victories in the Guineas and the Waikato Sprint against older horses (beating five individual Gr1 winners) were unbelievable.” A full-brother to multiple Gr1-placed placed Gr3 winner He’s Remarkable and a half-brother to boom 3YO Axiomatic from the immediate family of Gr1 winner Sixty Seconds, Te Akau Racing’s Xtravagant will stand for a fee of $16,500.
James Keen To See Filly On Big Stage
Roger James is favouring Ellerslie as the venue for the next appearance of his smart debut winner Monrecour (Zacinto-Udiditagain, by D'Cash), reports NZ Racing Desk. The Cambridge trainer has accepted for today's NZB Insurance Pearl Series Race at Avondale, but Sunday is his preferred option. Monrecour caught James off guard when she was successful at the Te Aroha trials last month before she repeated the dose on race day at Tauranga. "I've nominated her for the special conditions 1400 and that's where she'll go if she gets in," James said. "She surprised me in her trial because she hadn't showed anything out of the ordinary, but her trial was the quickest of the day including Xtravagant." Monrecour is a daughter of Inglewood Stud's beautifully bred Gr2-winning & Gr1-placed stallion Zacinto (Dansili-Itacha, by Distant View), sire of last season's Gr1 New Zealand 2000 guineas winner Ugo Foscolo. Zacinto's Gr3-placed dam Ithaca is a daughter of dual Gr1-winner Reams Of Verse, whose half-sister Midsummer produced Champion UK mare Midday (6 Gr1 victories).
Xtravagant Spot On For Telegraph
The Te Akau Racing team is confident that Xtravagant can bounce back to his brilliant best in Saturday's Gr1 Telegraph (1200m) at Trentham, reports theinformant.co.nz. Xtravagant (Pentire-Axiom, by Zabeel), who registered two stunning 8-length victories in the Gr1 NZ 2000 Guineas and Gr1 Waikato Sprint as a 3YO, was a shadow of his former self in his two Australian starts in the spring, finishing towards the tail of the field in both the Gr2 Bobbie Lewis Quality and the Gr1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes in Melbourne. "He's 100 per cent, everything has gone to plan," said Stephen Autridge, who trains the 4YO in partnership with Jamie Richards. "Opie (jockey Opie Bosson) will be coming down to gallop him in the morning [Tuesday]; that should top him off nicely." Xtravagant will carry equal top weight of 58kg with Gr1 Railway winner Start Wondering under the set-weight and penalty conditions of Saturday's sprint feature.
Axiomatic Looks Towards Winter Features
Fresh off her win at Warwick Farm last Wednesday as $2.20 favourite over 1600m, 3YO filly Axiomatic (O'Reilly-Axion, by Zabeel) has returned to Torryburn for a short break before heading back to trainer Chris Waller for a tilt at the Brisbane Racing Carnival and, specifically, the Queensland Oaks. Having claimed her first win at Kembla Grange on 10 December by 7.3-lengths, Axiomatic followed up with a win at Warwick Farm against the colts and geldings to claim her first city win. A $300,000 purchase at Easter, the half-sister to dual Gr1-winning New Zealand sensation Xtravagant is raced by Torryburn in partnership with Alan Osburg, with connections eagerly waiting to see what she has to offer in the coming months.
Axioamtic with Lisa Osburg, strapper Sam, and Pam Cornish
Xtravagant Making All The Right Moves
Dual Gr1 winner Xtravagant is thriving ahead of his summer campaign, reports NZ Racing Desk. The Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards-trained son of Pentire holds Gr1 nominations for the Railway Handicap at Ellerslie on 1st January, and the Gr1 Telegraph at Trentham three weeks later. "He's coming up really well and he'll trial at Te Aroha on December 13 before any plans are firmed up for him," Te Akau racing manager Brad Taylor said. Xtravagant (Pentire-Axiom, by Zabeel) was a shadow of his former self in his two Australian starts in the spring, finishing towards the tail of the field in both the Gr2 Bobbie Lewis Quality and the Gr1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes in Melbourne.
Valachi Target For First Serve
First Serve is likely to tackle seven furlongs for the first time at Riccarton today, reports NZ Racing Desk. The preferred option for the highly-regarded mare is the Gr3 Valachi Downs Canterbury Breeders' Stakes (1400m) over the Gr3 Lindauer Stewards' Stakes Handicap (1200m). "It might be a bit easier on her in the long term," said Matthew Pitman, who trains in partnership with his father Michael. "If she was to win it, as opposed to the Stewards, she might get less of a penalty. It looks the softer option and we've also got two other chances in the Stewards." First Serve was a beaten favourite last Saturday when she finished fourth in the Listed Pegasus Stakes, but her effort didn't disappoint her trainers. "She got a bit worked up before the race, which isn't like her, and she got a bump early on and she was held up a bit in the straight," Pitman said. It was just the second time that First Serve has tasted defeat in her seven start career, the first coming at Te Rapa where she ran second behind Xtravagant in last season's Gr3 Cambridge Breeders' Stakes. "She's still learning and she'll be a better mare in the autumn," Michael Pitman said. "There are a lot of options for her next year."
Cameron Opts For Hall Of Fame
Matt Cameron will be in the hot seat at Riccarton where his judgement will face a classic test, reports NZ Racing Desk. The top jockey has opted to ride Hall Of Fame over fellow Te Akau stable-mate Heroic Valour in Saturday's Gr1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m). The ride on Heroic Valour has gone to Michael McNab. Cameron, who won the Guineas on Xtravagant last year, rode Hall Of Fame and Heroic Valour in work at Riccarton on Tuesday morning for trainers Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards before making a decision. "They both worked really well and it probably came down to ringcraft," he said. "Hall Of Fame can race on the pace and take bad luck out of the equation." He added: "It's not a big field and the race might become quite tactical. It could be leader dominated and Mongolian Falcon, Ugo Foscolo and my horse are all likely to run on the pace and kick really well." Hall Of Fame (Savabeel-Around the Clock, by Galileo) has looked a colt of significant talent winning his past two outings, including a stylish 5 length win in the Listed Canterbury Stakes (1600m) at Riccarton. From the Galileo mare Around The Clock, Hall Of Fame hails from the famous Leica family of Victoria Derby winners Nothin' Leica Dane and Redding, New Zealand Derby winner Leica Guv, Gr1 Australian Guineas winner Light Fantastic, Australian Derby winner Leica Lover, and Australian Oaks winner Leica Smile.
Xtravagant Half-Sister On Debut In Newcastle
It’s a long way from Newcastle to Flemington on Derby Day, both physically and figuratively, however multiple Champion Trainer Chris Waller might look back fondly on the day as the moment where a young future Flemington-bound debutante announced herself. Named Axiomatic, the 3YO O’Reilly filly is out of Zabeel mare Axiom, producer to date of New Zealand Champion 3YO and dual Gr1 winner Xtravagant (see below), and his Pentire full-sibling He’s Remarkable, a triple Gr1-placed Gr3 winner. The filly hails from an exceptional dam line that is responsible for, among others, Gr1 winners Legs and Sixty Seconds. A $300,000 Inglis Easter yearling graduate from the draft of Willow Park Stud, Axiomatic won her most recent trial at Rosehill. She is raced by prominent owner Alan Osburg and Torryburn Stud, whose principal is former Australian Turf Club chairman John Cornish.
Scans For Xtravagant
Xtravagant (Pentire-Axiom, by Zabeel) has arrived home from Melbourne and he will undergo bone scans this week, reports NZ Racing Desk. The dual Gr1 winner was a shadow of his former self in his two Australian starts this preparation, finishing towards the tail of the field in both the Gr2 Bobbie Lewis Quality and the Gr1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes. Te Akau Racing principal David Ellis said they hoped Xtravagant was 100 per cent with no underlying issues, but if the scans revealed anything amiss it would help them to understand his disappointing Australian campaign.
Crucial Trial For Xtravagant
A trial at Cranbourne next week will decide Xtravagant's (Pentire-Axiom, by Zabeel) immediate future, reports NZ Racing Desk. The 4YO tailed the field home in the Gr2 Bobbie Lewis Quality at Flemington on Saturday, but subsequent tests have failed to find anything amiss with the entire. Connections will monitor Xtravagant's trial performance before deciding if he stays in Melbourne or returns home to New Zealand. Xtravagant - who boasts 6 wins from 11 starts highlighted by two stunning 8-length victories in the Gr1 NZ 2000 Guineas and Gr1 Waikato Sprint - was being aimed at next month's Gr1 WS Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley.
Under The Louvre & Miss Rock To Rattle Home
Their racing style of getting back may well give their supporters heart palpitations, however both Under The Louvre (Race 6) and Miss Rock (Race 2) have undeniable chances at tomorrow’s Flemington meeting. A winner at her last start over 1200m in Sydney’s Percy Sykes, Miss Rock was friendless in her debut but stunned her opposition with a barnstorming finish, something she looks likely to do in her seasonal return down the straight six for which she is quoted at $6.00. Perennial bridesmaid Under The Louvre, meanwhile, is a $4.50 quote over the same course and distance in the Bobbie Lewis Quality where he clashes with both Xtravagant ($4.40) and the highly touted Kinglike $5.50). Despite his top-weight Under The Louvre will likely drop from the clouds in the closing stages.
Smart sprinter Under The Louvre is blessed with a powerful finish
Black-Type Goal For Untamed Diamond
Richard Collett has set no time frame around the length of Untamed Diamond's (Snitzel-Made of Diamonds, by Made of Gold) Australian stay, reports NZ Racing Desk. The Pukekohe Park trainer is taking a relaxed approach to the talented mare's current campaign, which gained winning momentum last time out at Canterbury. "There's a series of races here that suit her and there's another one coming up over 1100 metres at Canterbury where the track is ideal for her," Collett said from his temporary Warwick Farm base. "She has strengthened a lot and we could look at a black type race if she continues to improve. She's by Snitzel out of a stakes winning mare so she's valuable." Untamed Diamond won three of her 10 starts in New Zealand and crossed the Tasman after finishing fifth behind Xtravagant in the Gr3 Cambridge Breeders' Stakes. Her record now stands at 4 wins from 14 starts.
Valley Outing For Xtravagant
Star New Zealand galloper Xtravagant (Pentire-Axiom, by Zabeel) will have his first look at Moonee Valley tomorrow ahead of his seasonal reappearance in the Listed Chandler MacLeod Stakes (1200m) on Saturday, reports NZ Racing Desk. The Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards-trained 4YO has reportedly made excellent progress since arriving in Melbourne earlier this month. Xtravagant tuned up for his return when working over 1000 metres at Flemington on Saturday in 1.06, with his last 600m in 38 seconds. The son of Pentire - who has won 6 of his 10 starts highlighted by two stunning 8-length victories in the Gr1 NZ 2000 Guineas and Gr1 Waikato Sprint - hasn't raced since his dominant victory in the Gr3 Cambridge Breeders' Stakes in April. His primary spring target is the Gr1 WS Cox Plate (2040m) to be run at Moonee Valley on 22 October.
2016 NZ Thoroughbred Horse Of The Year Awards
Twenty-four awards were presented at the 2016 New Zealand Thoroughbred Horse of the Year awards dinner in Auckland on Sunday night, reports NZ Racing Desk. Among the stars to be honoured on the night were retired multiple Gr1 winner Mongolian Khan, who collected his second consecutive Horse of the Year title; Gr1 JJ Atkins Stakes winner Sacred Elixir, who was named Champion 2YO; and the Te Akau Racing-owned Xtravagant, who walked away with the trophy for Champion 3YO. Click here to view a complete list of the category winners.
Top Honour For Preferment
Triple Gr1 winner Preferment (Zabeel) was crowned the Waikato branch of the NZ Thoroughbred Breeders' Association Horse of the Year at a function in Hamilton on Friday night, reports NZ Racing Desk. A host of other Group One winners from the region were also acknowledged while Curraghmore principal Gordon Cunningham was the Personality of the Year and the Young Achiever award went to Scotty Buchanan. Waikato-bred Group One winners during the 2015-16 season were: Kermadec (Llanhennock Trust), Preferment (Sir Patrick Hogan, Michael Moran, Mr & Mrs Anslemi), Criterion (Go Bloodstock NZ Ltd), Julinsky Prince (John Bromley), Tarzino (Sir Patrick & Lady Hogan), Prince Of Penzance (Jungle Pocket Pty Ltd & Rich Hill Thoroughbreds), Turn Me Loose (George & Maryanne Simon), Suavito (IDL Racing Ltd), Adventador (Milan Park), Valley Girl (D, L, S Hawkins & Llanhennock Trust), Volkstok'n'barrell (IDL Breeding Ltd), Xtravagant (Rich Hill Ltd), Tavago (Sir Patrick & Lady Hogan, C & J Kelly), Lucia Valentina (Helen-Gay & Graham Bax), Ryan Mark (J. Morell C. Phillips), Mac de Lago (G. Downey) and Provocative (Nearco Stud).
Preferment (image: Mark Gatt)
Top Colt Booked For Early Australian Flight
Star New Zealand colt and Cox Plate contender Xtravagant (Pentire-Axiom, by Zabeel) is booked on a flight to Melbourne on Wednesday week, reports NZ Racing Desk. "He'll be staying at Flemington and he will be trial at Caulfield on August 9 and after that we will decide where he will kick off," said Stephen Autridge, who trains the rising 4YO with Jamie Richards. "He's come back really well after a break and all our riders who have been on him are saying he's much stronger now." He added: "The main objectives after a run or two will be the Group Ones at the carnival and a crack at the Cox Plate." Xtravagant, who has won 6 of his 10 starts highlighted by two stunning 8-length victories in the Gr1 NZ 2000 Guineas and Gr1 Waikato Sprint, hasn't raced since his dominant victory in the Gr3 Cambridge Breeders' Stakes in April.
Cox Plate Target For Xtravagant
Star New Zealand colt Xtravagant (Pentire-Axiom, by Zabeel) will be heading directly to Australia next season, reports NZ Racing Desk. "The plan is to take him to Melbourne in early August and he will then race there through the spring," Te Akau principal David Ellis said. "We will probably trial him there on the better tracks and look to kick him off at Caulfield on the 27th, most likely in the Heath Stakes over 1100 metres." He added: "We will then be looking to run him in races like the Toorak Handicap and hopefully he will finish up in the Cox Plate." Xtravagant, who has won 6 of his 10 starts highlighted by two stunning 8-length victories in the Gr1 NZ 2000 Guineas and Gr1 Waikato Sprint, hasn't raced since his dominant victory in the Gr3 Cambridge Breeders' Stakes in April. "After a month of pre-training at Te Akau Stud he is back in the stable and he has settled in really well – he looks fantastic," Ellis said.
Heroic Valour On Classic Path
Meanwhile, Xtravagant's unbeaten younger stable-mate Heroic Valour (Fastnet Rock-Myrrh, by Nassipour) has also returned to the yard of trainers Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards, reports NZ Racing Desk. The 2YO Australian-bred son of Fastnet Rock, who is a half-brother to Gr1 Doncaster Handicap winner Triple Honour, extended his unbeaten record to three when scoring a last stride victory in the Gr1 Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie in March. "He looks great and is being prepared for a trial at Te Teko in early August and then he will be aimed at races like the Hawke's Bay Guineas and the New Zealand 2000 Guineas," Ellis said. "He will have a spell after that and we will be looking to take him to Sydney in the autumn."
Te Akau Horseman Celebrate A Century Of Winners
Teamwork has been the key to Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards sitting atop the New Zealand trainers' premiership with a century of winners, reports NZ Racing Desk. The Matamata partnership hit three figures for the season when Esprit De Corps was successful at Te Aroha on Sunday. "It's not just about Stephen and I," Richards said. "It's been a huge effort by all the staff with the vets, farriers and chiropractors getting in behind us to make sure that we get the horses to the races in the best possible condition. "Then there is the support of David Ellis, his wife Karyn and Mark Walker – they have been terrific." However, despite their milestone, Autridge and Richards don't expect that they will better the national record of 114 winners set by Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman last season. "I don't think we'll get that far, but we might be looking at it in the seasons to come." Richards said. "When we look back, we believe our horses have been placed well and we've had them winning at every level for our owners." Te Akau principal Ellis said the season had already exceeded all expectations. "It's very hard in New Zealand racing for a stable to get to 100 winners and for Stephen and Jamie to do it, and in Jamie's first full season, is a remarkable effort," Ellis said. "We're the only stable in New Zealand to have won four Group One races, we've had the only two-year-old to have won twice at black type level (Heroic Valour – Gr.1 Diamond Stakes, Listed Reid & Harrison Slipper) and Xtravagant has won two Group One races – it's been remarkable."
Serena Miss Supplemented For Magic Millions Broodmare Sale
Smart Kiwi filly Serena Miss is a supplementary entry in next month's Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale on the Gold Coast, reports NZ Racing Desk. The dual Gr2 winner and Gr1-placed filly was supplemented to the catalogue last week after failing to flatter in a trial at Cambridge. Prepared by Hamilton trainers Graeme and Debbie Rogerson, the daughter of Iffraaj has won three of her 10 starts for a big group of owners that includes Debbie Rogerson and Graeme Rogerson's granddaughter Bailey. "A couple of owners wanted to breed from her but she's worth that much money that it makes sense to put her through the sale and that way everyone's happy," Rogerson said. "She'll be put through to dissolve a partnership." Serena Miss won the Gr2 Matamata Breeders' Stakes at two and the Gr2 James & Annie Sarten Memorial Stakes at three. A half-sister to VRC St Leger placegetter Gifted Lad, Serena Miss finished third in the Gr1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas behind Xtravagant. "She's a high-class racehorse and we think she'll go just as well as a broodmare," Rogerson said.
Makfi Heads Westbury Stud Roster
Dubawi's son Makfi will once again head the stallion roster at Westbury Stud and has had his fee increased to $25,000 + GST after an excellent year with his three-year-olds in the southern hemisphere. Sire of last season's champion New Zealand's 2YO Marky Mark, Makfi produced his second individual Gr1 winner from his first crop when high class filly Sofia Rosa scored a brave win in the Australian Oaks in the autumn. Sofia Rosa also claimed this year's NZB Filly of the Year title. Makfi, who shuttles from the Aga Khan's Haras de Bonneval in France, is the only second-season sire in Australasia to have sired two individual Gr1 winners from his first crop (southern hemisphere figures). One of the big success stories at the yearling sales this year was Dalakhani's son Reliable Man who made an excellent impact with his first crop yearlings, and enters his fourth season at stud in 2016 having averaged no less than 140 mares across his first three seasons at stud. Reliable Man's yearlings sold up to $360,000 at Karaka in January and a large number of his yearlings were purchased by Australian based trainers and agents, underlining the high regard he is held across the Tasman. The French Derby and Gr1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner is available at $15,000 + GST. Swiss Ace is another young stallion going from strength to strength. From just over 100 runners to date, the Gr1 Oakleigh Plate winner has produced 10 individual black-type performers including Passing Shot, Secret Spirit, Mywayorthehighway, He's An Ace, Huka Eagle, and the highly promising First Serve, who belied her inexperience when finishing runner-up to star colt Xtravagant in the Gr3 Cambridge Breeders Stakes. Swiss Ace will have a small rise in fee to $13,500 + GST. High Chaparral's Gr1-winning son Redwood saw his yearlings sell upward of $200,000 in 2015 and the good looking stallion will remain at his 2015 fee of $10,000 + GST. Fastnet Rock entire El Roca was retired to stud in 2015 and covered a quality book of 110 mares in his inaugural year. El Roca defeated the likes of Dissident, Boban, Red Tracer, Sacred Falls, and Criterion during his career and went down by a nose to Dissident in the Gr1 Randwick Guineas as a 3YO. El Roca will remain at his introductory fee of $7,500 + GST. Rounding out Westbury's high quality roster are Postponed, sire of recent Gr1 placegetter Trojan Warrior, and Red Giant who will both be available at $5,000 + GST. Westbury's roster is:
- Makfi - $25,000 + GST
- Reliable Man - $15,000 + GST
- Swiss Ace - $13,500 + GST
- Redwood - $10,000 + GST
- El Roca - $7,500 + GST
- Postponed - $5,000 + GST
- Red Giant - $5,000 + GST
Xtravagant Set For Melbourne Spring Return
Star New Zealand colt Xtravagant (Pentire-Axiom, by Zabeel) will be a notable absentee from the Queensland winter racing carnival, reports NZ Racing Desk. The dual Gr1-winning 3YO has been sent to the paddock after landing last Saturday's Gr3 Cambridge Breeders' Stakes with a view to returning to Australia in the spring. Xtravagant's last, and only, trip across the Tasman resulted in a disappointing eighth placing (beaten 4.6-lengths) in the Gr1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on 5 March. "He deserves a good spell and I have a super paddock reserved for him right next door to our other Group One winner this season, the unbeaten Heroic Valour," Te Akau principal David Ellis said. Xtravagant boasts a good horse's record of 6 wins from 10 starts, highlighted by his two stunning 8-length victories in the Gr1 NZ 2000 Guineas and Gr1 Waikato Sprint.
Xtravagant Wins Gr3 Cambridge Breeders Stakes
At Te Rapa in New Zealand, Rich Hill Stud's dual Gr1-winning stallion Pentire (Be My Guest-Gull Nook, by Mill Reef) added a Group success when star 3YO New Zealand-bred colt Xtravagant (Pentire-Axiom, by Zabeel) scored by 2.75-lengths for trainers Stephen Autridge & Jamie Richards in the NZ$70,000 Gr3 Cambridge Breeders Stakes (1200m) for 3YOs, over 3YO fillies First Serve (Swiss Ace-Fuar, by Kaapstad) & Volks Lightning (Volksraad-Next Century, by Stravinsky). Having his first run since a disappointing performance in the Australian Guineas on 5 March, Xtravagant took his record to 6 wins (including the Gr1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas & Gr1 Waikato Sprint) and 1 placing from 10 starts for NZ$458,598 earnings. "He's done the job and we'll discuss during the week what we do with him now," co-trainer Stephen Autridge told NZ Racing Desk. "I'd say he will have a little break." From the unraced Zabeel mare Axiom, Xtravagant is a sibling to multiple Gr1 performer and NZ 2,000 Guineas runner-up He's Remarkable and was purchased by Te Akau Racing principal David Ellis for NZ$375,000 from the draft of Rich Hill Stud at the 2014 NZB Premier Yearling Sale.
Xtravagant In Peak Condition: Autridge
High profile 3YO colt Xtravagant (Pentire-Axiom, by Zabeel) is every bit as well as he was going into his brilliant win in the Gr1 NRM Sprint (1400m) in February, according to trainer Stephen Autridge, reports NZ Racing Desk. The star Kiwi colt is set resume from a two-month break in Saturday's Gr3 Inglis Sales Cambridge Breeders' Stakes (1200m) at Te Rapa. Xtravagant ran out a stunning eight-length winner of the weight-for-age NRM Sprint (also known as the Waikato Sprint), lowering the colours of Gr1 winners Vespa, Recite, Sacred Star, Volkstok'n'barrell and Ryan Mark. And while he was unable to repeat the performance in the Gr1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington at his next start, he has returned to racing in top condition much to the delight of Autridge and his training partner Jamie Richards. "He's done some really good pieces of trackwork and we're very happy with him," Autridge said. "He's the same weight as when he won the NRM Sprint, so he's pretty fit. He likes the track and he's drawn [barrier] two, so we're happy on those counts too." He added: "He should be winning it, all things being equal, but funnier things have happened in racing. At set-weights, he's thrown in. In the NRM Sprint, he wasn't thrown in but he was still too good and we think he's in the same condition that he was for that day." Raced by the Te Akau 2014 Breeding Syndicate, Xtravagant has won five of his nine starts, including a breathtaking 8.5-length romp in the Gr1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton in November. Xtravagant is a dominant $1.85 TAB favourite for Saturday's race.
Rich Hill Stud Announces 2016 Stud Fees
New Zealand's Rich Hill Stud has announced its 2016 stud fees, with the John and Colleen Thompson property confirming four stallions for the upcoming season. The quartet includes this season's Leading NZ 1st Season Sire Jimmy Choux, exceptional foundation stallion Pentire (sire of 2015 Melbourne Cup hero Prince of Penzance & brilliant 3YO Xtravagant this season), dual Gr1-winner Shocking, whose first crop already boasts a classic Gr1 winner, and multiple Australian Gr1 winner Proiser who stands his second season after serving 145 mares in his debut year. The fees for the quartet are:
- Jimmy Choux (NZ$12,500 + GST)
- Pentire (NZ$10,000 + GST)
- Shocking (NZ$8,500 + GST)
- Proisir (NZ$7,000 + GST)
Let Me Roar Excites Trainers
The Cambridge training partnership of Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman have a potential star on their hands in the form of unbeaten filly Let Me Roar, reports NZ Racing Desk. A half-sister to the Victoria Derby winner Lion Tamer, Let Me Roar made in two wins from as many starts when cruising to a six-length win at Pukekohe on Sunday in the slick time of 1.08.45 for the 1200m. "She's a very exciting horse," Forsman said. "We're just lucky to have been given the chance to train her. Hopefully she comes through it alright and we can push on." The Gr3 Inglis Sales Cambridge Breeders Stakes (1200m) at Te Rapa on April 30 is the immediate target for Let Me Roar where she is likely to clash with star colt Xtravagant. "She's a well bred filly and any black type we can get will enhance her value tremendously," Forsman added. Carrying the colours of Windsor Park Stud, Let Me Roar is a daughter of Champion European Miler Rip Van Winkle and winning rider Matthew Cameron believes the filly will get over ground in future. "She's got a beautiful stride and she's a horse that is going to get over further because she does relax nicely," Cameron said. "She's a brilliant horse. She ran quick time and did it on her ear."
Xtravagant To Tauranga
Star Kiwi colt Xtravagant (Pentire-Axiom, by Zabeel) is likely to make an appearance at the Tauranga meeting on 16 April, reports NZ Racing Desk. "He'll probably go there for a gallop between races and then head to the Breeders' Stakes at Te Rapa a fortnight later," co-trainer Jamie Richards said. Xtravagant's performance in the Gr3 Cambridge Breeders' Stakes will decide whether he ventures to the Queensland winter carnival. "He would need to win, and win well, for us to target races like the Doomben 10,000 and the Stradbroke [both Gr1 races]," Richards said. The Te Akau Racing-owned Xtravagant was last seen finishing a disappointing eighth (beaten 4.6-lengths) in the Gr1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on 5 March. The 3YO was unable to reproduce his outstanding domestic form which saw him score two stunning 8-length victories in the Gr1 NZ 2000 Guineas and Gr1 Waikato Sprint.
Star Kiwi colt Xtravagant won't race again this season following his disappointing performance in last Saturday's Gr1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington, reports NZ Racing Desk. Despite a clean veterinary bill of health after his eighth placing in the 3YO classic, connections have decided to send the son of Pentire to the spelling paddock. "He's pulled up well and there is nothing amiss with him," co-trainer Stephen Autridge said. Regular rider Matt Cameron was unable to shed any light on Xtravagant's failure to reproduce his impressive New Zealand form and said the three-year-old had his chance at Flemington. Xtravagant was sent out as the $2.80 favourite for the Australian Guineas off the back of his two stunning 8-length victories in the Gr1 NZ 2000 Guineas and Gr1 Waikato Sprint.
Star Hinchinbrook Colt To Make Guineas Statement
With the Gr1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) and Gr1 Australian Guineas (1600m) being run 20 minutes and 872km apart tomorrow, racing aficionados will have to wait for another day to determine conclusively who the country's best 3YO miler is. As competitive as the Australian Derby field appears to be – Mahuta, Tarzino, Xtravagant, Tivaci, Palentino, Jameka, Perfect Reflection and Risque all come into calculations – in Sydney bookmakers have all but declared correct weight. At $1.50, the exceptional colt Press Statement looks to have the Gr1 feature at his mercy. Undefeated since a soft win in the Gr2 Stan Fox Stakes during last year's Spring, Press Statement slam-dunked his rivals in the Gr1 Caulfield Guineas, and then toyed with challengers in his summer race return when strolling to victory in the Gr2 Hobartville Stakes at Rosehill two weeks ago. If there are any question marks hanging over his head, it's that he is yet to race at Randwick, and will need to find cover from his wide alley.
Money Arrives For Mahuta In Australian Guineas
Saturday's Gr1 Australian Guineas At Flemington is shaping up as a highlight of the season. While bookies are understandably very shy of high class New Zealand 3YO colt Xtravagant (entire-Axiom, by Zabeel) after his 8-length demolition job in this month's Gr1 Waikato Sprint (1400m), sportsbet.com.au reports that they are holding almost three times more than favourite Xtravagant. Only on the fifth line of betting behind Xtravagant ($3.75), Palentino ($5.00), Tarzino ($6.50) and Perfect Reflection ($7.50), $8.00 chance Mahuta looked the best of good things in last Saturday's Gr2 Autumn Classic (1800m) at Caulfield before being scratched from the race. Since winning a country Maiden at his second start last October, Mahuta has had 5 starts in stakes races, 3 of them Group class and one of them the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas, and won them all.
Te Aroha Target For Top Mare
Top-class New Zealand sprinting mare Recite (Darci Brahma-Chant, by Traditionally) has unfinished business at Te Aroha and she will have the opportunity there next month to go one better in the Gr1 NZ Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes, reports NZ Racing Desk. Runner-up to Viadana in 2014, the two-time Gr1 winner has been inconvenienced by slow tracks at her last two outings, but still showed her quality when third behind star colt Xtravagant in the Gr1 Waikato Sprint at Te Rapa on 13 February. "She's on the water walker now and will be back in the stable in 10 days," trainer John Bary said.
Royal Ascot Plans For Xtravagant
The connections of star New Zealand colt Xtravagant (Pentire-Axiom, by Zabeel) are set to pass up the Sydney autumn carnival in favour of an historic assault on Royal Ascot in June, reports NZ Racing Desk. Sydney's loss will be the Royal meeting's gain as the outstanding 3YO would become the first New Zealand-trained horse to race at Royal Ascot since the world famous carnival started attracting horses from the southern hemisphere more than a decade ago. Managing owner David Ellis and co-trainer Steve Autridge have made their UK ambitions clear, stating that Xtravagant will be set to take on the world's best should he continue his impressive winning form in the $750,000 Gr1 Australian Guineas at Flemington on 5 March. "The thinking is he may go to Royal Ascot if he won the Australian Guineas, and if that decision was confirmed then he wouldn't race in Sydney," Autridge said on the Te Akau Racing website. "If you asked 'what's his pet distance' my thoughts would be 1400 to 1600 metres – I don't think there's any doubt." He added: "If we want him to race over ground he could go 2000 metres as a four-year-old. I think he would be the ideal Cox Plate horse." Autridge said he will not send the excitable Xtravagant to Melbourne until the Wednesday before the Australian Guineas. "He will do all his fast work at home and have his final gallop on the Tuesday morning before we fly to Melbourne on the Wednesday night," Autridge said. "He's a very easy horse to handle but when he walks out of his stall and suddenly sees 20 other horses he gets excited." He added: "He's been like a big kid but he's relaxing more and more each time he goes to the races." Xtravagant has won 5 of his 8 starts hitherto, including two stunning 8-length victories in the Gr1 NZ 2000 Guineas and Gr1 Waikato Sprint.
Vespa On Trial For Australian Campaign
Gr1 winning Kiwi galloper Vespa (Elusive City-Miss Avalon, by Fantastic Light) has pleased his trainers Johno Benner and Hollie Wynyard following his second placing to Xtravagant in last Saturday's Gr1 Waikato Sprint at Te Rapa, reports NZ Racing Desk. "He's a pretty special horse to us," Benner said. "He went a super race. He gave away a bit of ground when Xtravagant cut the corner and he chased hard." He added: "He's only just getting to his peak now. He's a heavy little colt, so he's taken a couple of runs and I think next time he races you'll see the best of him." Vespa will have his next start in the Gr1 WFA Classic on his home track at Otaki on 27 February ahead of a possible Australian campaign. "We're trying to maximise his value as a stallion," Benner said. "If he could win at Otaki, we'd strongly consider heading to Melbourne for the Blamey Stakes. It's a race that Tavistock won and looks like a nice goal for him."
WFA Classic Next For Volkstok'n'barrell
Top Kiwi galloper Volkstok'n'barrell will step up to a mile at his next start in the Gr1 WFA Classic at Otaki in two weeks, reports NZ Racing Desk. The Rosehill Guineas winner resumed with a pleasing sixth in last Saturday's Gr1 Waikato Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa when finding the line well behind star colt Xtravagant. "We were very pleased with his run on Saturday and Leith (Innes) said he just came to the end of it late," said Chris Gibbs, who trains the son of Tavistock in partnership with Donna Logan. "He's down about 12 kilos now, which is good, because he was a little bit chubby and he has come through the run well." With Leith Innes likely to pilot Kawi in the Otaki Group One, Vinnie Colgan has secured the ride on Volkstok'n'barrell.
Dukedom Ready For Avondale Guineas
Meanwhile, trainer Steven Cole reports Gr1-winning 3YO Dukedom to be in excellent order ahead of Saturday's Gr2 Avondale Guineas (2100m), reports NZ Racing Desk. The Bachelor Duke gelding took his record to 2 wins from 6 starts when defeating the likes of star colt Xtravagant in the Gr1 Levin Classic (1600m) on 16 January and will use the Avondale Guineas as his final prep for the New Zealand Derby (2400m) at Ellerslie on 5 March. "I'm very happy with him and his work this morning was good after his exhibition gallop last week," Cole said. "There's still improvement to come from him heading toward the Derby so at this stage it's all in place."
Xtravagant Thriving After Latest Gr1 Success
Co-trainer Stephen Autridge says he is delighted with the way high class 3YO Xtravagant has come through his brilliant 8-length win in Saturday's Gr1 Waikato Sprint at Te Rapa, reports NZ Racing Desk. "Looking at him this morning [Monday], you wouldn't even know he's had a race, so we're pretty happy," said Autridge, who trains the star colt in partnership with Jamie Richards. Now a dual Gr1 winner after capturing the New Zealand 2000 Guineas in November, Xtravagant will now cross the Tasman to test himself against Australia's best 3YOs in the Gr1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on 5 March. "He'll just have a nice, quiet time trotting and cantering," Autridge said. "The good thing is all our serious work will be done at home where he's used to doing it." He added: "After we're happy on the Tuesday morning before the Guineas, he'll fly to Melbourne on the Wednesday evening, which gives him a couple of days to settle in before racing on the Saturday." From the unraced Zabeel mare Axiom, Xtravagant is a sibling to multiple Gr1 performer and NZ 2,000 Guineas runner-up He's Remarkable and was purchased by Te Akau Racing principal David Ellis for NZ$375,000 from the draft of Rich Hill Stud at last year's NZB Premier Yearling Sale.
Xtravagant Wins Gr1 Waikato Sprint
At Te Rapa in New Zealand, Rich Hill Stud's dual Gr1-winning stallion Pentire (Be My Guest-Gull Nook, by Mill Reef) celebrated an elite Gr1 success when star 3YO New Zealand-bred colt Xtravagant (Pentire-Axiom, by Zabeel) romped home by 8-lengths for trainers Stephen Autridge & Jamie Richards in the NZ$200,000 Gr1 Waikato Sprint (1400m) for 3YO+, over 4YO entire Vespa (Elusive City-Miss Avalon, by Fantastic Light) & 5YO mare Recite (Darci Brahma-Chant, by Traditionally). Xtravagant confirmed his status as New Zealand's most exciting galloper when taking his record to 5 wins (including the Gr1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas) and 1 placing from 5 starts for NZ$423,750 earnings. Xtravagant will now test himself against Australia's best 3YOs when he contests the Gr1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on 5 March. "It's been unbelievable and we made a plan before the race," co-trainer Stephen Autridge told NZ Racing Desk. "There was a strip along the fence that was perfect and the horse showed his class." he added: "We saved the ground and now it's the Australian Guineas – bring it on." From the unraced Zabeel mare Axiom, Xtravagant is a sibling to multiple Gr1 performer and NZ 2,000 Guineas runner-up He's Remarkable and was purchased by Te Akau Racing principal David Ellis for NZ$375,000 from the draft of Rich Hill Stud at last year's NZ Bloodsptock Premier Yearling Sale.
Weather Key To Star Colt
The Te Akau Racing team will be on weather watch leading up to the Gr1 meeting at Te Rapa on Saturday week, reports NZ Racing Desk. They are desperate for a good surface for their star colt Xtravagant (Pentire-Axiom, by Zabeel), who will run in the Gr1 NRM Sprint ahead of a likely Australian campaign. "There looks like there could be a bit of rain around, we just don't want too much and we've got our fingers crossed for a good track," co-trainer Stephen Autridge said. The New Zealand 2000 Guineas winner was beaten into fourth last time out in the Gr1 Levin Classic on a Dead 6 track at Trentham, with connections blaming the ground for the red hot favourite's defeat.
Sydney Return The Target For Let Her Rip
Talented New Zealand filly Let Her Rip (Rip Van Winkle-Keeper Special, by Keeper) is in line for another trip across the Tasman, reports NZ Racing Desk. "I'm mindful that her two best performances have come when she was fresh," trainer Shaune Ritchie said. "She was impressive first time out as a two-year-old and again in the spring at Te Rapa when she beat that good filly (Untamed Diamond) and Xtravagant." He added: "With that in mind I'll trial her next month at Matamata or Cambridge and then she may go to Sydney for something like the Surround Stakes." The Gr2 Surround Stakes (1400m) will be run at Warwick Farm on 20 February. Let Her Rip, who races in the same colours as the multiple Gr1 winner Turn Me Loose, finished fifth at her only Australian start in the Listed Anzac Day Stakes at Flemington in April.
Guineas Still On Xtravagant's Agenda
Te Akau trainers Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards are putting Xtravagant's (Pentire-Axiom, by Zabeel) defeat in Saturday's Gr1 Levin Classic (1600m) down to unsuitable track conditions, reports NZ Racing Desk. The New Zealand 2000 Guineas hero was a dominant favourite for the Trentham feature, but could only manage fourth (beaten 2.1 lengths) behind Bachelor Duke gelding Dukedom. "We're just blaming the run on the track at this stage," Autridge said. "The track was called a Dead 6 which is not meant to be too bad but by the middle of the day they were racing on the outside half of the track and he just couldn't get a footing or accelerate and I don't think racing off the fence suited him." Autridge confirmed the plan was still to travel to Australia for the Gr1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on 5 March. "We'll just run some tests on him over the next few days and make sure that everything's alright," he said. "If we're very happy with them then at this stage we'd have to consider the same plan which is a race at Te Rapa in four-weeks and if we're happy with how he runs there then he'd still be on his way to Flemington."
Xtravagant Has Throttle Hold On Levin Market
Te Akau Racing's exceptional Gr1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas hero Xtravagant has the market for tomorrow's Gr1 Levin Stakes at Trentham in Wellington completely cornered. Currently a $1.35 quote for the 3YO affair over 1600m, the son of Rich Hill Stud stallion Pentire (currenty 3rd on the Australian General Sires Premiership table) has been in devastating form in his past three runs which culminated in an easy victory on Boxing Day at Ellerslie in Auckland. Rangipo ($7.00) & Ruud Not Too ($8.00) are the only either two runners in the 12-horse field that are under double figure odds. Xtravagant is a NZ$375,000 yearling graduate (2014) of the NZB National Yearling Sales Series which gets its 2016 renewal underway at Karaka on Monday, January 25.
Hiflyer Destined For Gr1 Glory
Peter Lock believes it's only a matter of time before well bred 3YO Hiflyer (Tavistock-Lady Firebird, by Stravinsky) makes his mark at the highest level, reports NZ Racing Desk. "He's the best horse I've ever had anything to do with and what he's done so far has all been on raw talent," the Te Aroha trainer said. "He's been feeling the ground and I think so much of him that I won't be taking any risks at all. I will decide in the next couple of days whether we press on to the Levin Classic [Gr1] or if he goes to the paddock." He added: "He was only ever going to have one more run and if he's 100 percent for Trentham then he's going to give Xtravagant a big fright." Runner-up on debut, Hiflyer was an impressive maiden winner on his home track before he powered home from the tail of the field to finish a close last-start second during the Christmas carnival at Ellerslie. "He's still six months away from his best, that's why we never considered the Derby, and I think he will definitely be a Group One winner next campaign," Lock said. "He will come back much bigger and stronger, there's no doubt at all about that." By Cambridge Stud's dual Gr1-winning stallion Tavistock (Montjeu) - arguably the most exciting stallion either side of the Tasman - Hiflyer hails from the outstanding female family of champion Australian racehorse Might And Power, champion Hong Kong galloper Lucky Owners, as well as 4-time Gr1 winning filly Mosheen.
Selfie Up For Xtravagant Challenge
Trainer Richard Collett is aware of the task that awaits Selfie when last season's Karaka Million runner-up goes head-to-head with New Zealand 2000 Guineas hero Xtravagant over 1400 metres at Ellerslie on Boxing Day, reports NZ Racing Desk. "I see he's [Xtravagant] going to run there so hopefully he might scare a few off," Collett said. Selfie (Thewayyouare-Miss Brownie, by Redoute's Choice) was a bold second behind The Justice League in the Listed Northland Breeders' Stakes in his three-year-old debut and was given a break after an unplaced run in the Gr2 Hawke's Bay Guineas. He returned at Ellerslie earlier this month and ran home strongly for third behind Sofia Rosa after an interrupted passage. "We left him a little bit short for that and he went very well," Collett said. "It was 50-50 in the inquiry room, but we didn't get it." He added: "We'll take the blinkers off at Ellerslie and then he'll probably go for the Karaka Mile."
Xtravagant Set For Matamata Gallop
Meanwhile, co-trainer Stephen Autridge has confirmed that Xtravagant (Pentire-Axiom, by Zabeel) will have a gallop on the course proper at Matamata later this week before resuming in a NZ$50,000 race over 1400 metres at Ellerslie on Boxing Day, reports theinformant.co.nz. It will be the star colt's first run since his stunning 8.5-length romp in the New Zealand 2000 Guineas five weeks ago. "He did everything right when he galloped with Scrutinize at Tauranga on Friday and he's actually ahead of schedule for Ellerslie," Autridge said. "The way he went right-handed over there I don't think he'll have any problems." Xtravagant will also run in the Gr1 Levin Classic at Trentham on 16 January ahead of a late summer-autumn campaign in Australia.
Boxing Day Start For Xtravagant
Brilliant NZ 2000 Guineas winner Xtravagant is set to have his next start at Ellerslie on Boxing Day, reports theinformant.co.nz. The Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards-trained colt will resume in a NZ$50,000 race over 1400 metres. "He's doing well," Autridge said. "He'll have an exhibition gallop at Tauranga on Friday and then he'll run in a 1400-metre three-year-old race at Ellerslie on Boxing Day." He added: "After that we'll go to the Levin Classic [Gr1] at Trentham and then aim at either Melbourne or Sydney." By Pentire out of the unraced Zabeel mare Axiom, Xtravagant is a sibling to multiple Gr1 performer and NZ 2,000 Guineas runner-up He's Remarkable and was purchased by Te Akau Racing principal David Ellis for NZ$375,000 from the draft of Rich Hill Stud at the 2014 NZB Premier Yearling Sale. Following his stunning 8.5-length Guineas romp, his record stands at 3 wins from 5 starts for NZ$258,000 earnings.
Desert Gold Target For Risque
Meanwhile, Xtravagant's NZ 1000 Guineas-winning stable-mate Risque (Darci Brahma-So Explicit, by Straight Strike) is likely to resume in the Gr3 Desert Gold Stakes (1600m) at Trentham in January, reports theinformant.co.nz. "Risque is back in the stable this week after spending a fortnight out at The Oaks Stud," co-trainer Stephen Autridge said. "She won't run in the Eight Carat Classic at Ellerslie on Boxing Day, but she'll be set for some of the Filly of the Year Series races that come after it. The Desert Gold Stakes at Trentham is likely to be her first target." Risque's record stands at 3 wins and 2 placings from 6 starts for NZ$233,725 earnings.