2017

Classic Glory Awaits Queen

Friday, 17th November 2017

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).

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Filly Of The Year Series Heat Up With Guineas

Friday, 17th November 2017

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.

Te Akau Spoilt for Choice

Friday, 10th November 2017

Jamie Richards is finding it difficult to tip the best prospect from the Te Akau Racing stable in Saturday's Gr1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton, reports NZ racing Desk. With training partner Stephen Autridge, the Matamata horseman will be represented by Embellish, Te Akau Shark and Age Of Fire in the three-year-old Classic. "It's very, very hard to split them," Richards said. "They have all done nothing wrong and they are all fit and happy and working well." Embellish (Savabeel-Bling, by O'Reilly), a brother to Gr1-winning mare Diademe, is the pre-post favourite for the Guineas after consecutive wins at Ruakaka and Trentham. "I know that Opie [Bosson] just loves Embellish and the horse isn't a brilliant track worker, but he is up to the mark," Richards said. The unbeaten Te Akau Shark (Rip Van Winkle-Bak da Chief, by Chief Bearhart) is yet to be tested after wins at Te Rapa and Matamata. "He's still quite new and having his third start in a Group One, but he deserves his place," Richards said. Age Of Fire (Fastnet Rock-Dragon's Tail, by Galileo) is the only one of the trio to be tested at black-type level, having finished third behind boom filly Prom Queen in the Gr3 John Griggs Stakes at his most recent outing. "Age Of Fire is probably the smokie in the race and he will love the mile at Riccarton being out of a Galileo mare," Richards said. "We're sure they will all run very well. They are lightly-tried horses and Embellish was the only one to run at two so they are still yet to peak."

Dijon Bleu on Track for Guineas

Tuesday, 31st October 2017

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."

Dijon Bleu Wins Listed Soliloquy Stakes

Monday, 30th October 2017

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.

Sensei Out To Teach Filly Lesson

Friday, 20th October 2017

Michael Pitman says he will be thrilled if Sensei (Dream Ahead-Schiaparelli, by Woodman) can finish second to exciting Northland filly Prom Queen in tomorrow's Gr3 Barneswood Farm Stakes (1400m) at Ashburton, reports NZ Racing Desk. However, that's not to say the Christchurch trainer is resigned to defeat. Pitman, who will be represented by Sensei and Savvy Coup in the 3YO feature, believes the former poses a real danger to Prom Queen if the $1.60 market elect is off her game. "I wasn't originally planning to run in this one, but he's so well in himself and with the dry track and the way that field has shaped up, I thought it was worth putting him in," said Pitman, who trains in partnership with his son Matthew. "We're very happy with the horse. I'd be chuffed if he could run second to Prom Queen. I really don't think there will be any problem with her stepping up to 1400m, but if there is any chink on her armour he'll be ready to pounce. I think the step up to 1400m will really suit him." Sensei, who is a half-brother to Gr2 Queensland Guineas winner and sire Rothsay from the Jesmond Lass family of Golden Slipper winner Canny Lad, has won 2 of his 7 starts to date and boasts a placing behind Prom Queen in last season's Listed Welcome Stakes at Riccarton.

Prom Queen on Track for Barnswood

Friday, 6th October 2017

Fleet-footed Kiwi filly Prom Queen had an exhibition gallop at Ruakaka on Wednesday as she continues preparations for the Gr3 Barnswood Farm Stakes at Ashburton on 21 October, reports NZ Racing Desk. The daughter of Super Easy will be chasing her sixth win in succession and her eighth from nine starts when she tackles the 1400-metre feature. “She doesn’t gallop the best so it was pretty good for her,” jockey Alysha Collett said. “She had a bit of a blow afterward so she’ll be improved by it. It’s going to be a very strong field at Ashburton.” Prom Queen (Super Easy-Finishing School, by Royal Academy) has won her last five races by a combined margin of 25 lengths, including the Listed Berkley Stud Champagne Stakes (1200m) at Riccarton by 5.25 lengths and the Gr3 Northland Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) at Ruakaka last start by 2.5 lengths. At her most recent appearance she defeated the Tony Pike-trained stable mates Aim Smart and Felton Road who are both leading candidates in tomorrow’s Gr2 Sacred Falls Hawke’s Bay Guineas (1400m) at Hastings.

Prom Queen Gr3 Northland Breeders Stakes

Monday, 18th September 2017

At Ruakaka in New Zealand, Hallmark Stud's multiple Gr1 winning stallion & Singapore Horse of the Year Super Easy (Darci Brahma-Parfore, by Gold Brose) added a Group race success when 3YO chestnut filly Prom Queen (Super Easy-Finishing School, by Royal Academy) proved too classy for her rivals posting an easy win in the $70,000 Gr3 Northland Breeders Stakes (1200m) for 3YOs, defeating Aim Smart & Felton Road. Prom Queen advanced her already imposing record to 7 wins (including the Champagne Stakes & Listed Welcome Stakes) and 1 placing from 8 starts for NZ$155,125 in earnings. "This is marvellous, she's a freak of a horse," co-trainer Kenny Rae told NZ Racing Desk. "She's had her knockers off and on saying she won't go any further, but how many times does a horse have to win to prove herself." He added: "She'll have her next run in the Soliloquy Stakes at Ellerslie or in the John Grigg Stakes at Ashburton. It will depend on the weather, I don't want to run her on a heavy track and I still want to have a go at the 1000 Guineas."

Exhibition Gallop for Classic Bound Filly

Wednesday, 16th August 2017

Prom Queen (Super Easy-Finishing School, by Royal Academy) will step up preparations for her upcoming Group One campaign with a gallop between races at Ruakaka today, reports NZ Racing Desk. A winner of 5 wins of her 6 starts hitherto including black-type victories in the Listed Welcome Stakes & Listed Champagne Stakes, Prom Queen is being aimed at the Gr1 New Zealand 1,000 Guineas at Riccarton on 18 November. "She's going to have an exhibition gallop with Volkstok'n'barrell and then she'll be starting on the 2nd over 1000 metres," said Kenny Rae, who prepares the daughter of Super Easy with his wife Lisa and their daughter Krystal Williams. "She'll then either run in the Northland Breeders' Stakes here on September 16 or the Canterbury Belle Stakes at Riccarton a week later, but I'd prefer to keep here up here as long as I can."

Gr1 Goal for Prom Queen

Wednesday, 14th June 2017

Highly talented New Zealand filly Prom Queen is back in work and preparing for a spring campaign aimed at the Gr1 New Zealand 1,000 Guineas at Riccarton in November, reports theinformant.co.nz. Prom Queen has built an imposing record of 5 wins from 6 starts including black-type victories in the Listed Welcome Stakes & Listed Champagne Stakes. "Prom Queen is perfect," co-trainer Kenny Rae said. "This is her second week back in work with us, and you wouldn't even know she'd had a spell. She looks great." Rae added: "We're really happy with how she's looking and working. She'll race at Ruakaka in September, and then ideally I want to take her south again for the 1000 Guineas. She's got to prove she can run 1600 metres yet, although I think her attitude will carry her a long way. Whether it will carry her for those extra 400 metres, I don't know yet. We'll wait and see." Prom Queen (Super Easy-Finishing School, by Royal Academy) became the first stakes winner for former Singapore Horse of the Year and Hallmark Stud stallion Super Easy (Darci Brahma-Parfore, by Gold Brose) when winning the Listed Welcome Stakes (1000m) at Riccarton last November.

Prom Queen Wins Listed Champagne Stakes

Monday, 8th May 2017

At Riccarton Park in New Zealand, Hallmark Stud's multiple Gr1 winning stallion & Singapore Horse of the Year Super Easy (Darci Brahma-Parfore, by Gold Brose) added a black-type success when 2YO filly Prom Queen (Super Easy-Finishing School, by Royal Academy) proved a class above her rivals when bounding clear for a big win in the $50,000 Listed Champagne Stakes (1200m) for 2YOs, defeating Cousteau & Kiwi Ida. Prom Queen is starting to build an imposing record of 5 wins (including the Listed Welcome Stakes) and 1 placing from 6 starts for NZ$95,750 earnings. Super Easy, a half-brother to Gr1 winners Terravista and Tiger Tees, Gr2 winner Ball of Muscle and multiple stakes winner Our Lukas, is out of the grand producer and deceased former New Zealand Broodmare of the Year Parfore.

Prom Queen Looking Good For Return

Friday, 6th January 2017

Intelligently named and unbeaten NZ 2YO Prom Queen (Super Easy-Finishing School, by Royal Academy), has returned to light work at the Ruakaka stables of Kenny Rae, wife Lisa and daughter Krystal Williams-Tuhoro, reports theinformant.co.nz. Debuting with a classy win last October on debut at Riccarton, she gained black type at only her second outing in the Listed Welcome Stakes. Although 2015 Welcome Stakes winner Sassy 'n' Smart commenced her 2016 preparation with a strong second in the Gr2 Matamata Breeders' Stakes, Kenny Rae is planning a more gradual preparation with Prom Queen which may lead to the Sires' Produce Stakes at Awapuni in April. "We're not in any rush," Rae noted.

2016

Stable In No Rush With Smart Juvenile

Wednesday, 30th November 2016

Kenny Rae isn't prepared to take any chances with his unbeaten filly Prom Queen, reports NZ Racing Desk. The Ruakaka trainer has erred on the side of caution and decided to give the 2YO a good break rather than send her to Trentham for Saturday's Gr2 Wakefield Challenge Stakes. "We thought about going to Wellington, but she's won both her starts and earned $40,000 already, not many win that full stop," said Rae, who trains the daughter of Super Easy with his wife Lisa and their daughter Krystal Williams-Tuhoro. "She's having a month off and I'll just see how she progresses – we'll probably be looking at the Matamata Breeders' Stakes [Gr2]." Prom Queen (Super Easy-Finishing School, by Royal Academy) became the first stakes winner for former Singapore Horse of the Year and Hallmark Stud stallion Super Easy (Darci Brahma-Parfore, by Gold Brose) when winning the Listed Welcome Stakes (1000m) at Riccarton earlier this month.

First Stakes Winner For Super Easy

Monday, 14th November 2016

At Riccarton Park in New Zealand, Singapore Horse of the Year and Hallmark Stud stallion Super Easy (Darci Brahma-Parfore, by Gold Brose) sire his first stakes winner when 2YO filly Prom Queen (Super Easy-Finishing School, by Royal Academy) scored by 1.75 lengths for trainers Ken, Lisa Rae & Krystal Williams-Tuhoro in the NZ$50,000 Listed Welcome Stakes (1000m) for 2YOs, over fellow 2YO gilly Kiwi Ida (Squamosa-Empress Ida, by Blevic) & 2YO colt Sensei (Dream Ahead-Schiaparelli, by Woodman). Prom Queen, who is a half sister to stakes winner Swiss Rose, extended her unbeaten record to 2 wins from 2 starts for NZ$40,625 earnings. Super Easy, a half brother to Gr1 winners Terravista and Tiger Tees, Gr2 winner Ball of Muscle and multiple stakes winner Our Lukas from former New Zealand Broodmare of the Year Parfore, stands at Hallmark Stud for $7,500 plus GST.