Multiple stakes winner Chance To Dance will further his Group One preparation at Tauranga today, reports NZ Racing Desk. The 8YO Irish-bred gelding has won two of his three New Zealand starts and is making good progress ahead of the Gr1 Zabeel Classic (2000m) at Ellerslie on Boxing Day. Chance To Dance was successful first-up in the Listed Karaka Classic (1600m) at Pukekohe before he was caught three wide without cover when beaten in the Gr1 Livamol Classic (2040m) at Hawke's Bay. He then bounced back at Ellerslie last month to beat Mime in the Gr3 OMF Stakes (2000m) and has been kept fresh since. "We wanted to give him a bit of time as an older horse and he appreciates a quieter lifestyle," said Jamie Richards, who trains Chance To Dance with Stephen Autridge. "He looks terrific and we were going to trial him at Te Aroha, but the track was a bit firm so he'll have a gallop at Tauranga with Scrutinize." Formerly owned by Nick & Lloyd Williams and bred by master Irish trainer Jim Bolger, Chance To Dance (Teofilo-Crystal Ballet, by Royal Academy) was purchased by John Galvin's Fortuna syndication company at the Inglis Chairman's Sale (Racing Prospects) for $260,000 earlier this year.
At Ellerslie in New Zealand, unbeaten European Champion juvenile & dual Gr1-winning Darley shuttler Teofilo (Galileo-Speirbhean, by Danehill) added a Group race success when 7YO Irish-bred gelding Chance To Dance (Teofilo-Crystal Ballet, by Royal Academy) claimed his second stakes victory since arriving from the northern hemisphere when scoring a narrow win in the $70,000 Gr3 OMF Stakes (2000m) for 3YO+, defeating Mime & Authentic Paddy. Chance To Dance improved his record to 9 wins (including the Listed Karaka Classic & Listed Carlingford Stakes in Ireland) and 10 placings (including the Listed Moonee Valley night Cup) from 31 starts for $555,837 in earnings. Formerly owned by Nick & Lloyd Williams and bred by master Irish trainer Jim Bolger, Chance to Dance was purchased by John Galvin's Fortuna syndication company at the Inglis Chairman's Sale (Racing Prospects) for $260,000 earlier this year. Chance To Dance will now be rested with a view to contesting the Gr1 Zabeel Classic at Ellerslie on Boxing Day. "His rating is too high for handicaps so we'll get him home and look at the options," trainer Jamie Richards told NZ Racing Desk. "His best trip is around 2000m and the Zabeel Classic on Boxing Day will be one race that is discussed and he might not race again before that."
Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman will launch a three-pronged attack on the second leg of the Hawke's Bay Triple Crown series at Hastings on Saturday week, reports NZ Racing Desk. The champion New Zealand trainers will be represented by Mime, Stolen Dance, and Coldplay in the Gr1 Windsor Park Plate over 1600 metres. All three are Group Two winners chasing their maiden win at the elite level. "We're happy with Mime and we're intentionally keeping her on the fresh side," Forsman said. "By the time she got to the third leg last year it was all a bit too much." Stolen Dance was set to have her first start for the Cambridge trainers in the Gr1 Tarzino Trophy, but those plans were abandoned due to the soft conditions. "It would have been too tough first-up on her," Forsman said. "We left it until late, but the forecast was for more rain on the day and she's hopeless on wet tracks." As for Coldplay, the stable are hoping for a change of luck after she was blocked for a run when unplaced in the Gr2 Foxbridge Plate and failed to handle the slow track in the Tarzino Trophy. "She went to let down, but she couldn't handle the track," Forsman said. "She's come through the race fine though."
Group One-winning mare Sofia Rosa (Makfi-Bislieri, by Encosta de Lago) is on track to make her seasonal reappearance in the Gr1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m) at Hastings on 2 September, reports NZ Racing Desk. "She's had a jump-out and she's coming up very well. We're all happy with her and she will be going straight to Hawke's Bay for the Tarzino Trophy," said Bruce Perry, who manages owner Lib Petagna's bloodstock portfolio. Sofia Rosa's performance in the opening leg of the Hawke's Bay Triple Crown will determine the rest of her year. "At this stage, the intention is to race on for another season, but that depends on how she goes and otherwise we could look at putting her in foal," Perry said. "There's a few options and if she runs well first-up we could head toward the last two legs at Hawke's Bay or even look at Melbourne." Last year's Australian Oaks winner was last seen finishing a close-up third (beaten 0.5 length) behind Mime in the Gr2 Travis Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa on April.
The connections of Gr1-winning mare Sofia Rosa will make a decision later in the year as to whether she continues racing or is retired to the breeding barn, reports NZ Racing Desk. Last year's Australian Oaks winner was last seen finishing a close-up third (beaten 0.5 length) behind Mime in the Gr2 Travis Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa. "She's spelling now and will come back for the spring and we'll assess her then," Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh said. "She'll either be mated with Tivaci or she could race on and be served the following spring." The Lib Petagna-owned Sofia Rosa has hitherto won 5 of her 18 starts for nearly $1 million in prize money.
Windsor Park Stud's 4-time Gr1-winning shuttler & former European Champion 2YO Mastercraftsman (Danehill Dancer-Starlight Dreams, by Black Tie Affair) added a Group success when 4YO mare Mime (Mastercraftsman-Maidjeu, by Montjeu) posted a narrow win in the $100,000 Gr2 Travis Stakes (2000m) for 3YO+ fillies & mares, defeating Endean Rose & Sofia Rosa. Mime, who was passed in for NZ$13,000 at the 2014 NZ Bloodstock Select Yearling Sale from the draft of Mapperley Stud, improved her record to 5 wins (including the Gr2 Sir Tristram Fillies Classic & Gr3 Sunline Vase) and 8 placings (including the Gr1 Windsor Park Plate & Gr1 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes) from 19 starts for NZ$304,725 earnings. Mime is now likely to travel to Queensland for the $500,000 Gr1 Doomben Cup (2000m) at Doomben on 20 May. "The Doomben Cup in three weeks' time will be up for discussion," said Michael Wallace, bloodstock and racing manager for owners the China Horse Club. "She hasn't done anything wrong and been there or thereabouts since we acquired her."
The first three horses' home in Saturday's prestigious $100,000 Gr2 Travis Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa were all graduates of New Zealand Bloodstock sales at Karaka. The Karaka gold rush was led by the Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman-trained Mime (Mastercraftsman) who edged out Endean Rose (Savabeel) and Sofia Rosa (Makfi) in a tight finish. "I didn't want to be on the fence, that wasn't the plan, but I ended up there and she was always travelling very well," rider Craig Grylls said. "I had to wait for a gap to open up and then she kicked and won really nicely." A daughter of the Montjeu mare Maidjeu and from the family of star racehorses Waikiki (Crested Wave) and Sacred Kingdom (Encosta De Lago), Mime was bred by the late Laurence Redshaw. Mime was offered as a yearling at the 2014 Select Sale but failed to meet her reserve of just $15,000. She was retained by Redshaw until his deteriorating health and passing forced her sale to the China Horse Club. Runner-up Endean Rose was also a sale-ring passing, falling short of her $3000 reserve as a weanling at the 2011 National Weanling, Broodmare & Mixed Bloodstock Sale, while Australian Oaks winner Sofia Rosa was purchased by Bruce Perry Bloodstock for $65,000 at the 2014 Select Sale and has now earned over $1 million in prize money.
At Te Rapa racecourse in New Zealand, Coolmore's deceased dual Derby-winning shuttler & 6-time Gr1 victor High Chaparral (Sadler's Wells-Kasora, by Dashaan) celebrated an elite success when 5YO mare Charmont (High Chaparral-Martique, by Danehill) scored by a head for trainers Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman in the $200,000 Gr1 Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes (1600m) for 3YO+ fillies & mares, over fellow 5YO mare Thee Auld Floozie (Mastercraftsman-Thee Auld Hussie, by Spinning World) & 4YO mare and stable-mate Mime (Mastercraftsman-Maidjeu, by Montjeu). Charmont improved her record to 4 wins (including the Listed Wairarapa Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes) and 12 placings (including the Gr1 New Zealand Oaks, Gr2 Sir Tristram Fillies Classic & Gr2 Royal Stakes) from 24 starts for NZ$293,750 earnings. Charmont, whose second dam is Gr1 Mackinnon Stakes winner and Melbourne Cup runner-up Champagne (Zabeel), was passed in for $240,000 at the 2013 NZ Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale from the draft of Belvedere Farm. Charmont is raced by her Cambridge breeder Bob Emery, whose colours were also carried by Champagne.
Group One performed mare Mime will bypass this Saturday's Gr2 Windsor Park Stud Japan-NZ Trophy at Tauranga and target the Gr1 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes at Te Aroha two weeks later, reports theinformant.co.nz. The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained 4YO resumed with a narrow second to in-form mare The Auld Floozie in the Gr2 Westbury Classic (1400m) at Ellerslie last Thursday. "We just decided to keep her for the Group One at Te Aroha," Forsman said. "It's a bit of a back-up after Ellerslie last week, and stepping up to a mile second-up before going to Te Aroha might have taken a bit out of her." He added: "We decided it would be better to keep her a bit on the fresh side and go straight to Te Aroha." Mime (Mastercraftsman-Maidjeu, by Montjeu), a winner of the Gr2 Sir Tristram Fillies' Classic & Gr3 Sunline Vase as a 3YO, and runner-up to Kawi in last season's Gr1 Windsor Park Plate, became the first New Zealand representative for the China Horse Club when purchased by the emerging global racing and breeding powerhouse last year.
Group One performer Mime is being aimed at the Gr1 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes (1600m) at Te Aroha in April, reports NZ Racing Desk. The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained daughter of Mastercraftsman hasn't raced since she was unplaced in the Gr3 Eagle Technology Stakes (1600m) at Ellerslie in November. The 4YO indicated she was progressing well in her new campaign when second to stable-mate Francaletta in a 1200m trial at Cambridge on Tuesday. "We'll head her towards Te Aroha. We haven't yet decided which race she'll kick off in, but we've got options for her leading in," said Michael Wallace, racing manager for owner the China Horse Club. "She trialled well earlier this week and we're happy with her." Mime (Mastercraftsman-Maidjeu, by Montjeu), a winner of the Gr2 Sir Tristram Fillies' Classic & Gr3 Sunline Vase as a 3YO, and runner-up to Kawi in last season's Gr1 Windsor Park Plate, became the first New Zealand representative for the China Horse Club when purchased by the emerging global racing and breeding powerhouse last year.
Rasa Lila is the new favourite for Saturday week's Gr1 Livamol Classic (2040m) following the news that Kawi will not be contesting the final leg of the Hawke's Bay Triple Crown, reports NZ Racing Desk. Trainer Allan Sharrock has confirmed that Kawi, winner of the opening two legs - the Makfi Challenge Stakes & Windsor Park Plate - will forgo his opportunity to become the first horse in history to claim the Triple Crown by targeting the Gr1 Railway Stakes & Gr1 Kingston Town Classic double in Perth later in the year. "I think it [the Windsor Park Plate] has taken its toll. It was a very hard run – physically in the birdcage afterwards he knew he'd had a race," Sharrock said. "That's why we've withdrawn from the Livamol and we'll look at other options. I'll give him a week off and then we'll assess things from there." Rasa Lila (Darci Brahma), who resumed with an excellent third behind Kawi in Saturday's Windsor Park Plate, is now the $3.80 favourite for the Livamol, ahead of Humidor at $4.60, Mime at $6, and Hasselhoof at $8.
At Hastings in New Zealand, Waikato Stud's Cox Plate winning stallion Savabeel (Zabeel-Savannah Success, by Success Express) celebrated an elite success when 6YO gelding Kawi (Savabeel-Magic Time, by Volksraad) scored by 0.2-length for trainer Allan Sharrock in the NZ$200,000 Gr1 Windsor Park Plate (1600m) over 4YO mare Mime (Mastercraftsman-Maidjeu, by Montjeu) & 6YO mare Rasa Lila (Darci Brahma-Dance My Dance, by Sadler's Wells). After a torrid run on Saturday, Kawi is no certainty to line up for October 1's Gr1 Livamol Classic (2000m), but if he does he could become the first horse ever to capture the Triple Crown. With both Melbourne and Perth options for Kawi's Australian Spring plans, the exceptional son of Savabeel now has the imposing record of 13 wins (including the Gr1 Makfi Challenge Stakes, Gr1 Thorndon Mile, Gr1 Zabeel Classic, Gr1 Makfi Challenge Stakes, Gr3 Taranaki Cup & Listed Anniversary Handicap) and 8 placings (including the Gr1 Easter Handicap & Gr1 Herbie Dyke Stakes) from 26 starts for NZ$820,350 earnings.
Favourites Kawi and Valley Girl have come up with awkward draws for Saturday's Gr1 Makfi Challenge Stakes at Hastings, reports NZ Racing Desk. The Allan Sharrock-trained Kawi, who will defend his title under last year's winning rider Leith Innes, drew barrier 15 and will start one outside the Donna Logan and Chris Gibbs-trained second favourite Valley Girl. A full field of 16 plus one emergency - Underthemoonlight - was declared on Wednesday morning with Capella drawing barrier one, Mime gate two and Stolen Dance barrier six. Matamata trainer Alan Tait declared Southern Icon a definite starter after he rode the galloper in a "satisfactory" gallop on his home track on Wednesday morning.
One of New Zealand's leading stables is aiming for multiple representation in all three legs of the Triple Crown series at Hastings, reports NZ Racing Desk. Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman have Mime and the Australian recruit Our Vergara on target for the opening two legs - the Gr1 Makfi Challenge Stakes and the Gr1 Windsor Park Plate - with Saint Emilion a chance to join them in the closing event, the Gr1 Livamol Spring Classic. Mime will become the first New Zealand representative for the powerful China Horse Club, who purchased the Mastercraftsman mare earlier this year. "We think she can be competitive in all three races," said Andrew Forsman, who prepares the four-year-old with Murray Baker. Mime, who placed in her 1000 metre heat at the recent Te Teko trials, enjoyed a lucrative three-year-old season with four wins, including the Gr2 Sir Tristram Fillies' Classic and the Gr3 Sunline Vase before being spelled after she ran fourth in the Gr1 NZ Oaks. "It was a good solid effort at the trials and she had a good blow," Forsman said. "She's grown quite a bit and strengthened." Former Sydney mare Our Vergara, who ran a tidy fourth in a 1000 metre heat at the Te Teko trials, has been sent to New Zealand to chase Group One honours and to be served by Tavistock. "She's got a great temperament and takes everything in her stride," Forsman said. Meanwhile, Saint Emilion has risen to a rating of 99 after winning seven races last season and he has returned in fine order following a deserved break. "He's had his first serious gallop and he's making good progress," Forsman said.
Emerging thoroughbred powerhouse The China Horse Club is set to have its first New Zealand runner next season, reports NZ Racing Desk. The China Horse Club has purchased multiple Group winner Mime (Mastercraftsman-Maidjeu, by Montjeu), who will remain with trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman for her four-year-old career. "She will be the first runner here for us," said the Cambridge-based Michael Wallace, racing and bloodstock manager for the China Horse Club. "She will go down to Hastings for the spring series with more of a focus on the second and third legs." Wallace added: "We've had a few horses educated here and then exported to Singapore and we've got the Power-Octapussy filly bought at Karaka with Tony Pike so we are increasing our involvement." Now a prominent global investor in the industry, the China Horse Club continues to expand its interests with the group wholly or partly owning several top-class stallions including Australia (English Derby), Dissident, Pride of Dubai and Press Statement. They also own a share in last season's Gr1 Blue Diamond Stakes winner Extreme Choice. Their New Zealand acquisition Mime has won four of her 11 starts, including the Gr2 Sir Tristram Fillies' Classic and the Gr3 Sunline Vase. She was spelled after finishing fourth in the Gr1 New Zealand Oaks.
At Greyville in South Africa, top-class 3YO colt Rabada (Brave Tin Soldier-Jordie, by Fard) claimed the second top-flight win of his career when scoring by a neck for trainer Mike Azzie in the R2 million Gr1 Daily News 2000 Stakes (2000m) for 3YOs, over fellow 3YO colts It's My Turn (Dynasty-Jallad's Queen, by Jallad) & Mambo Mime (Mambo in Seattle-Murmuration, by Miswaki). Rabada improved his record to 5 wins (including the Gr1 Premier's Champion Stakes) and 2 placings from 8 starts.
At Ellerslie in New Zealand, 4-time Gr1-winning Windsor Park Stud shuttler & former European Champion 2YO Mastercraftsman (Danehill Dancer-Starlight Dreams, by Black Tie Affair) added a Group success when 3YO filly Mime (Mastercraftsman-Maidjeu, by Montjeu) scored by 0.75-length for trainers Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman in the NZ$70,000 Gr3 Sunline Vase (2100m) for 3YO fillies, over fellow fillies Promise To Reign (Manhattan Rain-Certain Promise, by El Prado) & Maritimo (Pins-Miracle Miss, by O'Reilly). Mime, who was passed in for NZ$13,000 at the 2014 NZ Bloodstock Select Yearling Sale from the draft of Mapperley Stud, took her record to 4 wins (including the Gr2 Sir Tristram Fillies Classic) and 5 placings from 10 starts for NZ$150,525 earnings.
At Te Rapa in New Zealand, 4-time Gr1-winning Windsor Park Stud shuttler & former European Champion 2YO Mastercraftsman (Danehill Dancer-Starlight Dreams, by Black Tie Affair) added a Group success when 3YO filly Mime (Mastercraftsman-Maidjeu, by Montjeu) scored by 1-length for trainers Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman in the NZ$100,000 Gr2 Sir Tristram Fillies Classic (2000m) for 3YO fillies, over fellow fillies Promise To Reign (Manhattan Rain-Certain Promise, by El Prado) & Capella (Rip Van Winkle-Limerick, by Grosvenor). This was the first stakes victory for Mime who took her record to 3 wins and 5 placings from 9 starts for NZ$108,525 earnings. Mime was passed in for NZ$13,000 at the 2014 NZ Bloodstock Select Yearling Sale from the draft of Mapperley Stud.