Smart Kiwi mare Savvy Dreams (Savabeel-Elusive Dreams, by Elusive City) is showing the benefit of a good break, reports NZ Racing Desk. Third behind Bonneval in last season's New Zealand Oaks, Savvy Dreams was spelled after an Australian autumn campaign that yielded a fourth placing in the Gr1 South Australian Derby (2500m) in Adelaide. "She's been back in work for a month or so now and she's really strengthened up and looking great," said Grant Cullen, who trains the daughter of Savabeel with Guy Lowry. "She'll probably kick off at Hastings in December and we'll make some firm plans after that, there are some nice races for her during the Wellington Cup carnival."
Co-trainer Grant Cullen is hoping for a change of luck with talented filly Savvy Dreams in Saturday's Gr3 SA Fillies Classic (2500m) at Morphettville, reports NZ Racing Desk. The New Zealand Oaks placegetter was a late scratching from the Australasian Oaks after flipping over before the start, and last Saturday she was forced to cover extra ground from a wide gate when a brave fourth in the South Australian Derby. "She was three wide without cover all the way and she did a good job to box on in the straight," said Grant Cullen, who trains the daughter of Savabeel with Guy Lowry. "That was only her second run in nine weeks so hopefully there is still a bit more improvement in her." Cullen added: "I can't fault her condition. She has come through the race last Saturday very well so she'll go around again. Paul Gatt will be on her again and hopefully our luck changes."
The dominance of New Zealand-bred 3YOs in Australia this season continued with an impressive win by Volatile Mix (Pentire) in Saturday's $600,000 Gr1 South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville – a story that began in the Karaka sale ring almost a decade ago. The Derby winner's dam Utopia (High Chaparral) was bought for $170,000 by Bruce Perry Bloodstock at the 2008 Premier Sale. She herself went on to win two races, and she picked up black type with a second placing in the Gr3 Manawatu Classic. Her first foal is Volatile Mix, bred and raced by Graham and Linda Huddy and racing in the stable of champion trainer Darren Weir. Ridden by John Allen, he stormed home from well back in the field and raced past fellow Kiwi-bred Odeon (Zacinto) and Ruthven (Domesday) to score by half a length. Another New Zealand-bred, the filly Savvy Dreams (Savabeel), was fourth. Volatile Mix has now had nine starts for three wins, two placings and more than $400,000 in prize money. New Zealand-bred 3YOs have enjoyed extraordinary success in recent months with Gingernuts winning the Gr1 New Zealand Derby & Gr1 Rosehill Guineas, Jon Snow landing the Gr1 Australian Derby, and Bonneval winning the Gr1 Australian Oaks.
A decision has yet to be made as to whether highly promising Kiwi filly Savvy Dreams (Savabeel-Elusive Dreams, by Elusive City) will race again this season, reports NZ Racing Desk. The Group One performer is currently taking it easy after last week's New Zealand Oaks at Trentham in which she finished third at just her fifth race start. "We're very happy with her and she'll be back at the track next week," said Guy Lowry, who trains the daughter of Savabeel with Grant Cullen. While it is a longshot, connections have considered a trip to Australia. "It's a wild thought, but we may look at Adelaide," Lowry said. "There's the Auraria Stakes, the Australasian Oaks and the SA Oaks." He added: "She is only a lightly-framed filly and if she shows any signs of tiredness when we get her back next week then she will go out for a good spell."
At Trentham racecourse in New Zealand, Westbury Stud's three-time Gr1-winning shuttle stallion Makfi (Dubawi-Dhelaal, by Green Desert) celebrated an elite success when 3YO filly Bonneval (Makfi-Imposingly, by Zabeel) scored by 0.5 length for trainers Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman in the $300,000 Gr1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) for 3YO fillies, over fellow fillies Devise (Darci Brahma-Doneze Girl, by Volksraad) & Savvy Dreams (Savabeel-Elusive Dreams, by Elusive City). Bonneval, who was purchased by Baker Racing for $150,000 at the 2015 NZB Premier Yearling Sale from the draft of Westbury Stud, improved her record to 4 wins (including the Gr2 Sir Tristram Fillies Classic & Gr3 Hawkes Bay Lowland Stakes) and 1 placing (the Gr3 WRC Desert Gold Stakes) from 7 starts for $301,500 earnings. The well-bred Bonneval is a full sister to Gr3 winner Imposing Lass and a half-sister to Gr3 winners Full Of Spirit (Flying Spur) and Lady Cumquat (Duke Of Marmalade) from Imposingly (Zabeel), a three-quarter sister to New Zealand Derby winner St Reims and Gr1 Mackinnon Stakes winner and Melbourne Cup runner-up Champagne (both by Zabeel). Co-trainer Andrew Forsman commented: "She's a beautiful filly and she doesn't need to do any more this preparation," Forsman told NZ Racing Desk. "She's only going to get better as an older mare as well." Bonneval classic win also saw her crowned the New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year.
The 2016-17 New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series is going right down to the wire in tomorrow's 10th and final leg, the $300,000 Gr1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham. With 12 points awarded to the winner, there are three possible Filly of the Year Series champions in Saturday's field – Bonneval (Makfi) currently tops the table with 15.5 points, while Nicoletta (Savabeel) and Devise (Darci Brahma) are both within striking distance with 10 and 6.5 points respectively. Those three fillies have fought a fierce rivalry through the second half of the Series. In the Group 3 Wellfield Desert Gold Stakes (1600m), Nicoletta was first with Devise second and Bonneval third. Then Bonneval took out the Group 2 Cambridge Stud Sir Tristram Fillies' Classic (2000m), beating Nicoletta and Devise. In the Group 3 Little Avondale Lowland Stakes (2100m), Bonneval again came out on top with Devise third and Nicoletta fourth. Second in the lowland was the Series newcomer Savvy Dreams (Savabeel), who is again among the opposition in Saturday's classic. She has 3 Filly of the Year Series points to her name. Other runners in Saturday's field who appear on the points table are Dreamcrafter (Mastercraftsman) with 3, Date Night (Savabeel) with 2 and Dame Margo Fonteyn (High Chaparral) with 1.5. The Oaks will be run as race 8 on Saturday with a start time of 4.36pm (local time).