At Ellerslie in Auckland in the first of three Gr1 features (all taken out by NZB graduates) Waikato Stud's Cox Plate winning multiple champion stallion Savabeel (Zabeel-Savannah Success, by Success Express) celebrated a Gr1 triumph when 2YO gelding Sword Of Osman (Savabeel-Bunyah, by Distant View) scored by 1.3-lengths for trainers Steven Autridge & Jamie Richards in the $200,000 Gr1 Sistema Diamond Stakes (1200m) for 2YOs, defeating stablemate 2YO filly Avantage & 2YO filly Spanish Whisper. Purchased for $165,000 by Te Akau Racing principal David Ellis at the 2017 NZ Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale from the Trelawney Stud draft, Sword Of Osman was ridden by Opie Bosson who speared him straght to the lead before holding off the rapidly closing Advantage. "The whole race he relaxed beautifully in front," Bosson enthused. "He changed legs a few times, but he just kept running. He's very, very good. He's amazing. He's like a three-year-old now. I can't wait for his three-year-old career." He improved his record to 3 wins (including last start's Gr3 Slipper Stakes at Matamata) from 4 starts for $188,250 in earnings. The result has catapulted Savabeel to more than double the earnings of his nearest competitor on the New Zealand General Sires table, almost guaranteeing him a third consecutive stallion title.
At Matamata in New Zealand, French 2000 Guineas & French Derby-winning shuttler Lope De Vega (Shamardal-Lady Vettori, by Vettori) added a Group race success when 2YO Australian-bred filly Spanish Whisper Lope De Vega-Cutting Remark, by Encosta de Lago) secured some valuable black-type with a narrow win in the $100,000 Gr2 Matamata Breeders' Stakes (1200m) for 2YO fillies, defeating She's A Thief & the Real Beel. Spanish Whisper improved her record to 2 wins and 1 placing from 3 starts for $72,750 in earnings.