At Riccarton in New Zealand, Waikato Stud's Cox Plate-winning champion sire Savabeel (Zabeel-Savannah Success, by Success Express) celebrated an elite race success when 3YO New Zealand-bred filly Hasahalo (Savabeel-Halloween, by Encosta de Lago) proved far too strong for her rivals when scoring a wide-margin win in the $300,000 Gr1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) for 3YO fillies, defeating Dijon Bleu & The Lustre. A $110,000 purchase by Go Racing at the 2016 NZ Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale from the draft of Waikato Stud, Hasahalo improved her record to 2 wins (including the Gr3 ARC Eclipse Stakes) and 2 placings (including the Listed (R) Karaka Million) from 9 starts for NZ$411,000 in earnings. "There was a question mark about the mile today, but she got the job done well and found the line strongly," winning trainer Stephen McKee said. Hasahalo hails from the family of Gr1 Emirates Stakes winner Titanic Jack, Gr1 Toorak Handicap winner Sober Suit, Gr3-winning colt Addictive Nature, Gr2-winning and Gr1-placed Savvy Nature, and stakes winners La Lagune and Make Me A Miracle.
Ruakaka trainer Kenny Rae is brimming with confidence about the chances of boom filly Prom Queen in tomorrow's Gr1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton, reports NZ Racing Desk. Prom Queen is favourite for the 3YO fillies Classic off the back of two brilliant wins in the Gr3 Northland Breeders Stakes (1200m) and Gr3 John Grigg Stakes (1400m) at her past two outings. The daughter of former Singapore Horse of the Year Super Easy has established herself as the best filly in New Zealand having won 8 of her 9 starts with her only loss being a narrow defeat back in March. Rae said Prom Queen's last-start win in the John Grigg Stakes showed she should have little problem with the step up to a mile. "What she did was mind-boggling. It was good to see her do it like that at 1400m…It's scary. What she's doing has been almost too good to be true," he said. "She seems fine. She's pretty relaxed in her work. She's hard to get a line on because she's pretty lazy in track work. She's like a kid's pony." He added: "I wouldn't say her track work is any better than it has been going into her other races, but it doesn't have to be either." Prom Queen is the dominant $1.60 favourite for the 1000 Guineas ahead of Dijon Bleu ($4.20) and Swing Note ($8).
The 2017-18 New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series will hit fever pitch tomorrow with the running of its second leg – the $300,000 Gr1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton. The first of two Group 1 events in the 10-race series, the 1000 Guineas carries 12 points for the winner, 7 for second and 3.5 for third. Seven of the last ten Filly of the Year Series winners have won the 1000 Guineas, namely Insouciant in 2007, Daffodil (2008), Katie Lee (2009), King's Rose (2010), Planet Rock (2011), Costa Viva (2013) and Platinum Witness (2014). The current series leader is the Lisa Latta-trained Dijon Bleu who collected 6 points for her victory in the first leg, the Gr3 Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) at Hastings. The Guineas favourite is exciting Northland filly Prom Queen, who is making her first Filly of the Year Series start. Click here for comments on each NZ 1000 Guineas runner.
New Zealand trainer Lisa Latta says Classic contender Dijon Bleu has come through her latest win with flying colours. The 3YO daughter of Cambridge Stud's beautifully bred stallion Burgundy won Saturday's Listed Soliloquy Stakes (1400m) at Ellerslie and is now set to clash with boom filly Prom Queen in the Gr1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton on 18 November. "She is still a work in progress and keeps getting better and better," Latta told New Zealand's Trackside Radio. "The plan is to head south. She's done everything right. She came home after the race and ate up. We now have three weeks until Riccarton." Latta said she doesn't envisage any problems with Dijon Bleu running out a strong eight furlongs. "I don't think the 1600 metres will worry her. She's been finding the line really well," she said. "As long as she settles in the running I'm confident she will see the 1600m right out."
At Ellerslie in New Zealand, Cambridge Stud's beautifully bred Gr3-winning stallion Burgundy (Redoute's Choice-Grand Echezeaux, by Zabeel) added a black-type success when 3YO brown filly Dijon Bleu (Burgundy-Pristino, by More Than Ready) claimed her third consecutive stakes victory in the $50,000 Listed Soliloquy Stakes (1400m) for 3YO fillies, defeating Kapoor & Campari. Dijon Bleu, who was purchased by her trainer Lisa Latta for $26,000 at the 2016 NZ Bloodstock Select Yearling Sale, improved her record to 4 wins (including the Gr3 Hawke's Bay Breeders Gold Trail Stakes & Listed O'Leary's Fillies Stakes) and 1 placing from 7 starts for NZ$131,450 in earnings. Dijon Bleu is now set to clash with boom filly Prom Queen in the Gr1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas at Riccarton on 18 November.
A steady start set the tone of Day 1 at the New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run Sale Breeze Up’s with 199 two-year-olds breezing at Te Rapa Racecourse. The youngsters breezed up on a Dead 6 track with gusty south-westerlies throughout the day. Last year’s leading vendor by average, Lyndhurst Farm, presented six horses including a Fastnet Rock colt (Lot 49) who breezed in a time of 11.02 seconds. He was partnered by a Smart Missile gelding (Lot 80) who performed in a time of 10.78. Earlier in the day a duo of Shocking’s offspring, prepared by Landsdowne Park, breezed up smartly with a dead-heat time of 10.94 seconds for the colts (Lot 300 and Lot 421). Lot 300 is a half-brother to recent Gr3 Hawkes Bay Gold Trail Stakes winner Dijon Bleu. The fastest time of the day was recorded by Karaka Million nominated Lot 17, a Poet’s Voice colt prepared by Riversley Park in the respectable time of 10.53 seconds. Diamond Lodge presented the first of the Snitzels with a filly (Lot 87) clocking a time of 11.33 seconds. She was partnered with the white Reliable Man filly (Lot 182) who recorded 11.31 seconds. Champion NZ sire Savabeel was also represented today with Kilmore Farm’s Lot 200 breezing in at a time of 11.21 seconds. The colt breezed up with a son of Sizzling (Lot 310) who recorded a time of 11.35 seconds. Day 2 of the Breeze Up action will take place today at Te Rapa Racecourse from 10am. Click here to view Breeze Up times.
Meanwhile, the race to the richest meeting on the New Zealand calendar has begun with a number of talented youngsters vying for a start. 2018 is set to showcase the enhanced Series with the $1 million Karaka Million 3YO Classic a new addition to the $1 million Karaka Million 2YO. The feature events will include a sensational support card of four Group races to be run at the Auckland Racing Club.
Talented Kiwi filly Dijon Bleu has earned a week off following her early season stakes victories, reports NZ Racing Desk. The 3YO daughter of Cambridge Stud stallion Burgundy was a runaway winner of the Listed O'Leary's Fillies' Classic (1200m) at Wanganui on 14 September before another dominant display saw her land the Gr3 Hawke's Bay Breeders' Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) at Hastings last Saturday. "She's quite a slight filly, but she's got a motor," trainer Lisa Latta said. "She's having a week in the paddock and then we might look at taking her to Ellerslie." Latta has in mind the Listed Soliloquy Stakes (1400m) on 28 October ahead of the Gr1 New Zealand 1,000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton on 18 November.
At Hastings in New Zealand, Cambridge Stud's beautifully bred Gr3-winning stallion Burgundy (Redoute's Choice-Grand Echezeaux, by Zabeel) added a Group success when 3YO brown filly Dijon Bleu (Burgundy-Pristino, by More Than Ready) proved far too strong for her rivals when scoring a comfortable win in the $70,000 Gr3 Hawke's Bay Breeders Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) for 3YO fillies, defeating Florence Jean & Princess Rihanna. Dijon Bleu, who was purchased by her trainer Lisa Latta for $26,000 at the 2016 NZ Bloodstock Select Yearling Sale, improved her record to 3 wins (including the Listed O'Leary's Fillies Stakes) and 1 placing from 6 starts for NZ$101,450 in earnings. Trainer Lisa Latta said Dijon Bleu is on a classic path towards the Gr1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas at Riccarton on 18 November.
At Wanganui in New Zealand, Cambridge Stud's beautifully bred Gr3-winning stallion Burgundy (Redoute's Choice-Grand Echezeaux, by Zabeel) added a black-type success when 3YO brown filly Dijon Bleu (Burgundy-Pristino, by More Than Ready) opened her stakes account when romping to an emphatic win in the $50,000 Listed O'Leary's Fillies Stakes (1200m) for 3YO fillies, defeating Blanco Belle & Style By Design. Dijon Bleu, who was purchased by her trainer Lisa Latta for $26,000 at the 2016 NZ Bloodstock Select Yearling Sale, improved her record to 2 wins and 1 placing from 5 starts for NZ$57,700 in earnings. Latta nominated the Gr1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas as a possible target for Dijon Bleu. "There's a lot of options for her and the key will be whether she can get 1400m and further and then if we head south early," Latta told NZ Racing Desk.
A full field of 14 plus one emergency has been confirmed for the 10th Karaka Million, to be held at the Karaka Million Twilight Meeting at Ellerslie this Sunday (29 January). New Zealand's equal richest race, the Karaka Million (1200m) is held on the eve of the New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sales Series commencing at Karaka and consists of graduates from Karaka 2016. The top qualifier is Gift of Power (Power), who impressively won all of her first three starts including the Gr2 Wakefield Challenge Stakes and Listed Wellesley Stakes. Purchased by Team Rogerson at the Premier Sale for $180,000 from Cambridge Stud, she has earned $107,400 from four starts and will be ridden by Craig Grylls. Hasahalo (Savabeel) handed Gift Of Power her first defeat in the Gr3 Eclipse Stakes at Ellerslie on New Year's Day, coming from last with a late charge to win by a head. It boosted her earnings to $61,000 and propelling her to second on the order of entry. Trained by Stephen McKee, who won last year's Karaka Million with Xiong Feng, Hasahalo was bought by Go Racing at the Premier Sale for $110,000 from Curraghmore. Hasahalo will be ridden by Blake Shinn. For details about the remaining Karaka Million runners, click here. Sunday's six-race programme is scheduled to commence at 4.58pm with the first race of the Karaka Million Series, the $100,000 Windsor Park Stud Karaka Stayers Cup running at 5.33pm as Race 2, followed by the Listed (R) $100,000 NZB Insurance Karaka 3YO Mile at 6.07pm as Race 3 and the Listed (R) $1 million Karaka Million race at 7.16pm as Race 5.
The Karaka Million field is:
1. Star Treasure (Stephen McKee) 56.5kg (7)
2. Padraig (Brendon Hawtin) 56.5kg (12)
3. Felton Road (Tony Pike) 56.5kg (1)
4. Ameridon (Liam Birchley) 56.5kg (13)
5. Oscar Eight (Nigel Tiley) 56.5kg (15)
6. Waldorf (Andrew Campbell) 56.5kg (5)
7. Gift Of Power (Graeme & Debbie Rogerson) 54.5kg (2)
8. Hasahalo (Stephen McKee) 54.5kg (10)
9. Princess Rihanna (Lance O'Sullivan & Andrew Scott) 54.5kg (4)
10. Dijon Bleu (Lisa Latta) 54.5kg (9)
11. Melody Belle (Stephen Autridge & Jamie Richards) 54.5kg (3)
12. Global Thinking (Shaune Ritchie) 54.5kg (8)
13. Te Amo (Peter Robl) 54.5kg (11)
14. Sophie's Choice (Stephen Marsh) 54.5kg (14)
15. Iffragal (Stephen Autridge & Jamie Richards) 54.5kg (6)
It took just one start for Dijon Bleu (Burgundy) to race her way into contention for next month's $1 million Karaka Million (1200m) at Ellerslie. Purchased for $26,000 by Awapuni trainer Lisa Latta at the 2016 NZ Bloodstock Select Sale, Dijon Bleu made her debut in Sunday's $20,000 Mills Reef Winery 2YO (1100m) at her home track. Ridden by Kelly McCulloch, she edged out her stakes-performed stable-mate Dreams of Platinum (Dream Ahead) by a nose. Dijon Bleu earned $12,500 for Sunday's win, putting her in equal eighth position on the Karaka Million Order of Entry. Dual stakes winner Gift of Power (Power) maintains a clear lead on the Order of Entry with $96,875 in prize money. The upcoming Ellerslie Christmas Carnival will provide several opportunities for two-year-olds to race their way into Karaka Million contention. Boxing Day features an 1100-metre race worth $50,000, then a maiden two-year-old race worth $10,000 will be held on December 29. The New Year's Day meeting features the $70,000 Gr3 Eclipse Stakes (1200m). Click here to view the latest order of entry.