Savvy Coup (NZ) (Savabeel) scored an outstanding win in the $400,000 Group 1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham on Saturday, which confirmed Dijon Bleu (NZ) (Burgundy) as the 2017-18 New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year.
Dijon Bleu missed the Oaks due to injury, but she had already well and truly made her mark on the Series. She earned a formidable total of 30 points with wins in the Group 3 Gold Trail Stakes (1200m), Group 3 Desert Gold Stakes (1600m) and Group 2 Sir Tristram Fillies’ Classic (2000m), along with placings in the Group 1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) and Group 3 Eulogy Stakes (1550m).
The only filly in Saturday’s Oaks field who could catch Dijon Bleu was Contessa Vanessa (NZ) (Bullbars), who had 19.5 points to her name with the winner of the Oaks earning 12 points.
Contessa Vanessa gave it her very best shot. As Savvy Coup cruised to the lead early in the home straight, Contessa Vanessa surged through on the inside and threw down an enormous challenge.
The pair drew away to fight out a desperate finish, with Savvy Coup wresting control inside the last 100 metres to win by a length and a quarter for jockey Chris Johnson.
Savvy Coup, trained by Michael and Matthew Pitman for her owners the Bruford and Coupland families, was a $65,000 purchase at the 2016 Premier Sale at Karaka.
She has now had 12 starts for five wins, four placings and $444,625 in prizemoney.
“She’s an incredible filly,” Matthew Pitman said. “All season, she’s been thereabouts against some of the best colts and geldings.
“The Brufords and the Couplands have been two of our biggest sets of supporters for years, so to win this Group One for them means a hell of a lot. Our team behind us works incredibly hard as well, so this is big for them too. It’s massive. It’s been an incredible season.
“We’ve been taking part in good races for a long time, but we really wanted to start winning them. We made a plan to target some nice young horses to buy, and this is the result of that.”
Savvy Coup moved up to 24 points in the Filly of the Year Series, a third-place finish behind Dijon Bleu (30) and Contessa Vanessa (26).
Dijon Bleu was bred by Craig Grammer and the Robinson Family Trust. She was offered by Landsdowne Park at the 2016 Select Sale, where she was bought for $26,000 by Lisa Latta. The Awapuni trainer Lisa Latta shares ownership with K T J Dixon, P Finlayson, Ms D A Masters, M G Passey, A J Rennie and T D Tomlins.
Dijon Bleu has had 11 starts for six wins, three placings and $306,700 in prizemoney.
Vendor Waikato Stud Ltd
Purchaser NZB as agent (Auckland)
Breeding Savabeel – Eudora
Sale Lot 277, 2016 Premier Sale, $65,000
Bred by Waikato Stud Ltd
Vendor Landsdowne Park Ltd
Purchaser Lisa Latta Racing Stables (Palmerston North)
Breeding Burgundy – Pristino
Sale Lot 484, 2016 Select Sale, $26,000
Bred by Robinson Family Trust
In other news Select Sale graduate and Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m) winner Scott Base (NZ) (Dalghar) returned to action with a stunning performance in Saturday’s $100,000 Group 2 Phill Cataldo Bloodstock Wellington Guineas (1400m) at Trentham.
Scott Base followed his Karaka Million heroics with a fast-finishing fourth in the Group 2 Avondale Guineas (2100m) in February, setting him up as one of the favourites for the Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m).
A bruised heel forced his withdrawal from the Ellerslie classic, but he returned to racing in outstanding style on Saturday.
Ridden by Vinnie Colgan, Scott Base appeared to be struggling well back in the field at the top of the straight. But he warmed into his task in the last 250 metres and dived through on the inside of Paulownia (Fastnet Rock) to score by a nose.
“Somehow he’s got his beak down,” co-trainer Johno Benner said. “He hit a bit of a flat spot for a while, but the way he got going and got up to win – he’s a bit special. Everyone can see how good he is. Long-term I think he could take his place in a Cox Plate.”
Scott Base was bred by Neven Botica’s Botsky Pty Ltd and was offered by Brighthill Farm at the 2016 Select Sale. He was bought for $70,000 by Chris Rutten, who shares ownership with John Norwood and Joanna and John Frew.
Scott Base has now had 12 starts for four wins, three placings and $645,750 in prizemoney – more than nine times his purchase price.
Vendor Brighthill Farm
Purchaser Chris Rutten Bloodstock (Wellington)
Breeding Dalghar – Extra Celestial
Sale Lot 865, 2016 Select Sale, $70,000
Bred by Botsky Pty Ltd
After a relentless all-the-way win in Saturday’s $50,000 Listed Te Akau Racing Lightning Handicap (1200m) at Trentham, Ferrando (NZ) (Fast ‘n’ Famous) has earned more than four and a half times his $40,000 purchase price at the 2015 Ready to Run Sale at Karaka.
The speedy four-year-old went straight to the lead on Saturday and was never headed, fighting strongly down the straight to hold out the fast-finishing Heroic Valour (Fastnet Rock).
“When he gets track conditions to suit him, he’s one of the best sprinters around,” co-trainer Graeme Rogerson said. “He’ll got to Adelaide now for the A$1 million Goodwood (May 19).
“Further down the track, I’d love to see him get a chance on a good track in the Everest. He can run time.”
Bought for $40,000 at the Ready to Run Sale, Ferrando has now won seven of his 17 starts and $180,875 in prizemoney for his owners Fatesal Holdings Ltd, D E & Mrs E M Olsen, R R Ratcliffe, Redbank Pty Ltd (Mgr: P Favretto) and G A Rogerson.
Saturday’s win was Ferrando’s second at stakes level, having previously won the Group 3 Mongolian Khan Trophy (1200m) at Ellerslie in March of last year.
The Te Akau Racing Lightning Handicap was a quinella for Karaka graduates. Runner-up Heroic Valour, raced by the Lightning Handicap sponsors, was a $400,000 purchase at the 2015 Premier Sale.
Vendor Ohukia Lodge Ltd
Purchaser NZB as agent (Hong Kong)
Breeding Fast ‘n’ Famous – Rio Nugget
Sale Lot 31, 2015 Ready to Run Sale, $40,000
Bred by Mrs E A Cowell & Killarney Bay Bloodstock Ltd
Talented stayer Daytona Red (NZ) (Sebring), who cost $75,000 at the 2015 Premier Sale, took his career to a new level with a runaway win in Saturday’s $50,000 Listed Yealands Family Wines New Zealand St Leger (2500m) at Trentham.
Making his first start at stakes level, the four-year-old circled the field approaching the home turn and raced clear in the straight. With Matt Cameron in the saddle, the Shaune Ritchie-trained chestnut scored an emphatic victory by two and three-quarter lengths.
Daytona Red was bred by Gerry Harvey and offered by Harvey’s Westbury Stud at the Premier Sale. Ritchie bought him for $75,000 and trains him for owners Mrs L A Cowley, R J de Lautour, G W Halse, J F & Mrs P Hirst, J McKittrick, C J, P J and Mrs S R Mitchell.
Peter Mitchell also raced the legendary Bonecrusher (NZ) (Pag-Asa), a champion New Zealand galloper of the 1980s. Shaune Ritchie was the strapper for Bonecrusher, who was trained by his father Frank.
Daytona red, who races in the famous cream and brown Bonecrusher colours, has now had 10 starts for three wins and $70,080 in prizemoney.
Vendor Westbury Stud
Purchaser Mr SF Ritchie (Cambridge)
Breeding Sebring – Move On Up
Sale Lot 80, 2015 Premier Sale, $75,000
Bred by G Harvey