Top Te Akau Racing juveniles Sword Of Osman and Avantage will renew their Group One rivalry at Awapuni later this month, reports NZ Racing Desk. The talented stable-mates are confirmed starters for the $225,000 Group 1 Manawatu Sires' Produce Stakes (1400m) on 31 March. The Stephen Autridge & Jamie Richards-trained pair have met twice with Avantage taking top honours when winning the Karaka Million (1200m) before Sword Of Osman (Savabeel) evened the score with his defeat of the Fastnet Rock filly in last Saturday's Gr1 Sistema Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie. Te Akau principal David Ellis said: "We think he's [Sword Of Osman] probably six months away in his development so we will give him one more run before he goes to the paddock. When he returns we'll be getting him ready for the Hawke's Bay Guineas and the 2000 Guineas at Christchurch." Ellis added: "Avantage has come through the race really well and if we're still happy with her in the next few days she will go to the Sires' Produce as well. We want to give her the opportunity to get a Group One win."
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.
Te Akau Racing's New Zealand Gr1 winners Embellish and Melody Belle will return home from Australia to be spelled, reports NZ Racing Desk. "They are both going to be having breaks, they had no luck unfortunately," co-trainer Jamie Richards said. Embellish was a first-up sixth in the Gr3 C.S. Hayes Stakes (1400m) before he had an interrupted run on Saturday when eighth in the Gr1 Australian Guineas (1600m) on his Flemington return. "He tried to get out and couldn't and when he did he got to the line well," Richards said. At Randwick, Melody Belle finished fifth in the Gr2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) and ninth in the Gr1 Surround Stakes (1400m). "She was three and four wide with no cover on Saturday, you just have to put a line through it and move on," Richards said. Meanwhile, the stable has three arrows to its bow in Saturday's Gr1 Sistema Stakes at Ellerslie in Auckland where Richards and Stephen Autridge will saddle up Sword of Osman, undefeated Advantage and The Real Beel.
At Matamata in New Zealand, Waikato Stud's Cox Plate winning multiple champion stallion Savabeel (Zabeel-Savannah Success, by Success Express) added a Group race success when 2YO New Zealand-bred gelding Sword Of Osman (Savabeel-Bunyah, by Distant View) left his rivals languishing in his wake with a brilliant win in the $70,000 Gr3 Matamata Slipper (1200m) for 2YO colts & geldings, defeating Thomas Aquinas & Handsome Rebel. Purchased for $165,000 by Te Akau Racing principal David Ellis at the 2017 NZ Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale out of the Trelawney Stud draft, Sword Of Osman improved his record to 2 wins from 3 starts for $68,250 in earnings.