Shamrocker (NZ) Wins the AJC Derby

The Danny O'Brien trained Shamrocker raced into the history books on Saturday at Randwick, upstaging the boys for the second time this season in winning the Group 1 David Jones AJC Australian Derby (2400m).

Not only is Shamrocker (NZ) (O'Reilly x Bohemian Blues) the first filly to win the AJC Derby in 22 years, she is also the first filly to ever win the Group 1 Australian Guineas / Group 1 AJC Derby double.

Shamrocker's win has given New Zealand two Australian Derby wins this season, with Murray & Bjorn Baker's Lion Tamer (NZ) (Storming Home) winning the VRC Derby. The New Zealand bred Imabayboy (San Luis) also won the Listed macau Derby on Sunday night.

The win has also seen New Zealand's unparalleled record in the race continue, with Shamrocker the seventh New Zealand bred or sold winner of the AJC Derby since 2000.

Previous kiwi winners include Roman Emperor (2009), Nom du Jeu (2008), Fiumicino (2007), Headturner (2006), Starcraft (2004) and Don Eduardo (2002).

Ridden beautifully by jockey Glen Boss, Shamrocker sat mid-field before being brought into the race at the 600 metres, and raced away from Retrieve in the straight to win the Group 1 feature by over one-and-a-quarter lengths.

"We knew that she would run a strong 2400 metres and that showed on Saturday. They ran a good time which ensured that it would be a tough staying contest and she really finished off the race well," said her trainer Danny O'Brien.

"She has always shown plenty of ability; she beat the boys at two in the Sires Produce but didn't get all the favours in the spring. This preparation everything has gone to plan, we have had an uninterrupted prep, and she has had her chance to show her talent and she has done exactly that.

"The filly has come through the race in good order. It was only her fourth run this prep and we had always planned to back her up in the Oaks, and we can see nothing that will stop us from lining her up on Saturday."

Bought from the Karaka Select Sale for NZ$65,000, Shamrocker is the eighth individual Group 1 winning graduate from the Select Sale this season alone.

"I didn't see her as a yearling, but our Bloodstock Sales Manager Karl Brown saw her and called me to say he had found an O'Reilly filly we should be buying, and the rest is history," said O'Brien.

"We of course had Master O'Reilly who won the Caulfield Cup for us as a five-year-old. They seem to improve with every prep so we are hoping that she will develop into a nice four-year-old and a strong Cups prospect."

Shamrocker will be looking to make it Group 1 victory number three in the AJC Oaks on Saturday where she is now the favourite at $3.20. The race is shaping up as a cracking re-match with the NZB graduate and VRC Oaks winner Brazilian Pulse currently at $3.60 in the market.

Shamrocker was bred by Vern and Margaret Trillo and was bought from Valachi Downs at the 2009 Karaka Select Sale. Her win in the Group 1 AJC Derby was her fourth from 12 starts and took her stakes earnings to over A$1.8 million.

Shamrocker's half-brother by Shinko King was bought by Rogerson Bloodstock at the 2011 Karaka Premier Sale for $200,000.

Standing at Waikato Stud, O'Reilly has been an outstanding sire for New Zealand and his progeny continue to perform all over the Southern Hemisphere. He is now the sire of 47 individual stakes winners including Group 1 winners Alamosa, Swick, Master O'Reilly and The Jewel. He boasts a strong winners to runners ratio of 67% and his progeny averaged over $128,000 for 36 lots sold at the 2011 Karaka Premier Sale.

Crafty Irna 8th Stakes Winner for Starcraft

New Zealand Bloodstock graduates made it a stakes winning double at Australia's feature meeting at Randwick on Saturday, with Crafty Irna winning the last on the card, the Group 3 Patinack Farm ATC Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m).

Trained by Ron Quinton and ridden by Glyn Schofield, Crafty Irna (ex Zirna) is the eighth stakes winner for her sire Starcraft. A NZB graduate himself, Starcraft's progeny are on fire on the track, notching up two stakes winners last weekend in Australia and New Zealand.

Backed by her trainer Ron Quinton, Crafty Irna came into Saturday's race after running fifth to Raspberries at Warwick Farm late last month. But she proved well up to the task, and looked comfortable in the straight as she held off some strong finishing challenges to win by just under a length.

The win was Crafty Irna's second from nine starts and took her stakes earnings to over A$100,000. Offered by Westbury Stud at the 2009 Karaka Premier Sale, the filly was bought by NZB as agent for $125,000.

Crafty Irna is the third foal of the top international racemare and 2003/4 Singapore Horse of the Year and Stayer of the Year, Zirna (Deputy Governor x Riverly Lass). A half-sister to Crafty Irna by Redoute's Choice was bought by NZB as agent at this year's Karaka Premier Sale from Westbury Stud for $400,000.

Kiwi Stakes Double for Moody

Star Melbourne trainer Peter Moody made it a stakes double with NZB graduates on the weekend, with Cute Emily and Almodovar both taking out their debut black-type assignments on Saturday.

Cute Emily (Choisir x Prefer An Angel) kept her unbeaten record intact as she continued her rise through the racing ranks, with a powerful win in the Group 3 Patinack Farm Sires' Produce (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday.

The winner of all three of her starts, Cute Emily showed no trouble with the rise in distance or class as she led all the way in the hands of jockey Shayne Cahill to record a soft win at her first black-type appearance by a length-and-a-quarter.

Bought by Mr S B Hill from the 2010 Karaka Select Sale for $36,000, the two-year-old filly was sold by Dee Jay Bloodstock and has now earned over A$120,000. Having a top 2010/2011 season, Dee Jay Bloodstock also bred and sold Elusive Tracy (Elusive City) who ran a brave second in the Group 2 Wellington Guineas.

Dee Jay Bloodstock have a weanling half-sister to Elusive Tracy by Don Eduardo entered in the May Sale at Lot 72. They will also be offering her dam at Lot Lot 491 who has been served by Librettist.

The Peter Moody trained Almodovar (Pins x Midnight Madam) also won her black-type debut on Saturday, winning the Listed UAE MRC Galilee Series Final Handicap (2406m).

The three-year-old daughter of Pins has been racing in fine form, with Saturday's win her third consecutive victory, and her second at Caulfield after winning there late last month.

Bought by Moody for $60,000 at the 2009 Karaka Premier Sale, the filly was offered by Haunui Farm who have had a strong week on the track, with their sale graduate Do You Think winning the Group 3 Schweppervescence Stakes at Rosehill last Saturday.

A full-sister to Almodovar was bought by Hawkes Racing from Haunui Farm at the 2010 Karaka Premier Sale for $120,000. A broodmare half-sister to Almodovar by Soviet Star will be offered at the May Sale by Rich Hill Stud at Lot 461 - she has been served by Any Suggestion.

Singapore Stakes Success for Soliloquy

Racing in Singapore saw the Moore family's Soliloquy Lodge continue its hot run of form, with Dontellthewife (Volksraad x Juliette Heights) winning the SGP-3 Singapore TC Moonbeam Vase (1800m).

A $40,000 purchase by Noble Bloodstock from Soliloquy Lodge at the 2008 Ready to Run Sale, the four-year-old has now won four of his nineteen starts and over $300,000 in stakes.

The Auckland-based Soliloquy Lodge - most renowned for breeding high-class mare Soliloquy - also had a hand in last week's Group 3 Schweppervescence Stakes as they bred the winner Do You Think (Starcraft x Chickens).

Scarlett Lady on the Rise for Savabeel

The Handsome Ransom at Wellfield Lodge Manawatu Breeders Stakes (2000m) at Awapuni on Friday saw a brilliant win by Scarlett Lady who has now put together three consecutive wins on the track.

Trained by Graeme & Debbie Rogerson, Scarlett Lady (Savabeel x On Call) looks to be one of the gems emerging from the brilliant crop of New Zealand three-year-old fillies this year.

Ridden by the in-form James McDonald, Scarlett Lady raced on the pace and took the inside run in the straight, staving off the smart performer Sharp Princess to win the feature by three-quarters-of-a-length.

Only lightly raced, the daughter of Savabeel has won three of her seven starts and ran an eye-catching fourth to King's Rose in the Group 2 NZB Royal Stakes earlier in the season.

She will now likely head to the Group 2 Travis Stakes later this month before heading across the Tasman for a tilt at the Group 1 Queensland Oaks.

The potent Savabeel is having a top season thus far with Do Ra Mi winning the Group 2 Kewney Stakes, Savabill winning the Listed Matamata Slipper, Kudakulari winning the Listed Canberra Guineas, and Lady Kipling, Dowger Queen and Savabill all Group 1 placed.

A steal from the ring, Scarlett Lady was purchased by Whitby Bloodstock from Waikato Stud for only $25,000, and has earned her connections almost $60,000 in stakes. The win has also taken her domestic rating to 84.

Final Touch Wins Listed NZB Airfreight Stakes

The leaderboard for the NZB Southern Filly of the Year Series is looking very top heavy with three fillies now having a share in the lead, with Final Touch winning the Listed NZB Airfreight Stakes (1600m) at Riccarton on Saturday.

A brilliant win, Final Touch (Kashani x My Lydia) came from near last on the rail coming into the straight. Ridden by jockey David Walsh, the pair weaved their way through the field and ranged up to the leaders in the final furlong and took the lead to win by a comfortable length-and-three-quarters.

Trained by John & Karen Parsons, the three-year-old came into the race off the back of a winning performance at Banks Peninsula only a week prior. The win gives her seven points in the NZB Southern Filly of the Year Series; she is now locked in a three-way tie with Princess Emmy and No Choice also on seven points.

I'm Your Venus (Show a Heart x Oaky Miss) ran a good second in the race to pick up three points after being very wide on the turn, and Miss Maximuss (Castledale x Missprynt) stayed on well for third, earning one point, after working early in the race.

The last leg of the NZB Southern Filly of the Year Series - the Listed NZB Warstep Stakes (2000m) - is shaping up as a beauty and will be held at Riccarton on 16 April.