At Pukekohe in New Zealand, deceased Gr1-winning stallion Shinko King (Fairy King-Rose Of Jericho, by Alleged) added a Group race success when 6YO New Zealand-bred gelding Megablast (Shinko King-Thirst, by Desert Sun) finally broke through for a well deserved maiden stakes victory in the $100,000 Gr2 Easter Handicap (1600m) for 3YO+, defeating Brighton & Romancer. Megablast, who was passed in for $17,500 at the 2013 NZ Bloodstock Ready To Run Sale, improved his record to 9 wins and 6 placings (including the Gr2 Avondale Cup) from 28 starts for NZ$252,713 in earnings.
At Ellerslie in New Zealand, Westbury Stud's Gr1 Oakleigh Plate-winning stallion Swiss Ace (Secret Savings-Rapid Serve, by Carson City) added a black-type success when the lightly raced 6YO New Zealand-bred gelding Julius (Swiss Ace-Oh So Royal, by Danzero) broke through for his maiden stakes win in the $70,000 Gr3 Concorde Handicap (1200m) for 3YO+, defeating Romancer & Elusive Treasure. Purchased by John Bell Bloodstock & Racing for $44,000 at the 2013 NZB Select Yearling Sale from the draft of Westbury Stud, the progressive Julius improved his record to 5 wins and 4 placings from 9 starts for NZ$119,150 in earnings.
Romancer will face another examination of his Group One credentials when he steps out at Ellerslie on New Year's Day, reports NZ Racing Desk. The gelding is on a learning curve as he heads toward his primary target – the $1 million Gr1 New Zealand Derby on March 4. "He's still green, but he's getting there and improving with each run," said Donna Logan, who trains the three-year-old in partnership with Chris Gibbs. Romancer raced greenly when he finished runner-up on debut but has made good progress to post impressive wins at his last two starts, including the Listed Mufhasa Stakes when he became the first black-type winner for Westbury Stud's Gr1-winning stallion Redwood (High Chaparral). "He pulled up really well after that and I'm very happy with him," Logan said. "He'll run in the Great Northern Guineas on New Year's Day and then he'll go to the Karaka Three-Year-Old Mile followed by the Avondale Guineas." She added: "Then it will be on to the Derby and he's bred to run it and that makes you feel a lot more comfortable." Romancer is out of the unraced mare Romantically (Foreplay), a half-sister to Gr1 Australian Cup winner Sirmione. This is also the family of successful English stallion Alcimedes, best known here in Australia as the sire of champion galloper Galilee.
At Ellerslie in New Zealand, Westbury Stud's Gr1-winning stallion Redwood (High Chaparral-Arum Lily, by Woodman) sired his first stakes winner when 3YO gelding Romancer (Redwood-Romantically, by Foreplay) scored by 0.5 length for trainers Donna Logan & Chris Gibbs in the NZ$50,000 Listed Mufhasa Stakes (1300m) for 3YOs, over fellow 3YO gelding Royal Mojito (Darci Brahma-Lava Lady, by Kenmare) & 3YO filly I Am Gracie (I Am Invincible-Love in Spring, by Redoute's Choice). Romancer, who was a $110,000 purchase by Donna Logan Racing Stables at the 2015 NZB Select Yearling Sale from the draft of Westbury Stud, advanced his record to 2 wins and 1 placing from 3 starts for NZ$30,775 earnings. Racing in the colours of OTI Racing, Romancer is being aimed at the $1 million Gr1 New Zealand Derby on 4 March. Romancer is out of the unraced mare Romantically (Foreplay), a half-sister to Gr1 Australian Cup winner Sirmione. This is also the family of successful English stallion Alcimedes, best known here in Australia as the sire of champion galloper Galilee.