Kiwi Chronicles

From a simmer to a boil

The pot is simmering now but it may be boiling very soon.

Proisir (Choisir) enjoyed an outstanding New Zealand 2022-23 season, siring five individual Group 1 winners.

Four of the five claimed their victories before the 2023 NZB Karaka Yearling Sales series. The fifth, Prowess, became an elite winner after the sales although she also took out the Karaka Million 3YO Classic (Gr 1,1600m) against the field of the year, a week before the yearling sales.

So much for New Zealand: Since then, the Proisir phenomenon has taken on a new dimension over in Australia. Legarto stormed home in a stunning Australian Guineas (Gr 1, 1600m) success and during the Sydney Championships, Prowess dealt to a highclass field of three-year-old fillies in the Vinery Stud Stakes (Gr 1, 2000m).

Yet another three-year-old Proisir filly, Coeur Volante, looks to join them if her performance in Saturday’s Thousand Guineas Prelude (Gr 2, 1400m) is any guide.

Kiwi Chronicles caught up with Coeur Volante’s breeder, Duncan Fell of Fairdale Stud who is, understandably, rather proud of the filly. “She looks very talented so, as her breeder, I am hopeful that she can take it to the next level.”

“I was impressed with her effort on Saturday. She had to be used up early to get a sit, then found more in the run home – not many can do that.”

“As a foal she was not overly big. Neither is her mum who I bought at the Inglis broodmare sale back in 2017. As a shareholder in Proisir, who is a robust type, I was hoping for something in the middle and that’s what we got, a medium-sized filly with some strength.”

“We sent her to Kelly [Van Dyk] because the 2022 sale was in doubt due to Covid, but being in the Waikato it would be easier for potential buyers to see her. We sent two Proisir fillies to Kelly who did a great job for us. Pam Gerrard picked them out and must have been keen because Paul and Mike [Moroney] bought both of them. Coeur Volante was a nice type with some quality.”

“Shanina’s 2022 Per Incanto colt is heading to Karaka in January and she is due to foal to Noverre soon. It was a late service, so we might have to give her a year off, said Fell.

“For a small operation we have had some recent success. From seven mares we have bred three Group winners, Cool Aza Beel, Brando and now Coeur Volante, plus a Listed winner, Belle Plaisir.”

Since the 2023 NZB Karaka Yearling sales there have been two Proisir yearlings sold, one for $110,000 and the other for $105,000 at the NZB National On-Line Sale, effectively Karaka Book 3.

No Proisirs have been catalogued in any Australian sale since March. In June, his weanlings sold for up to $140,000 at the NZB National Weanling Sale.

Two races, The Golden Eagle (1500m) and the (Caulfield) Thousand Guineas (Gr 1, 1600m) will take place before the NZB Ready To Run Sale (November 22-23). Should the former fall to Legarto and the latter to Coeur Volante, buyers will be tripping over themselves hoping to snare one of the dozen Proisir lots on offer, four of which are fillies. Good luck if you have your eye on one.

A solid finish for second in a Taupo 2YO trial (1000m) in March was enough to send Coeur Volante (then unnamed) to Melbourne.

Legarto’s co-trainer, Ken Kelso, maintains that she should be unbeaten. The same could be said about Coeur Volante. On debut she was checked twice late in the piece. How she finished fourth was a miracle. The same happened in the Scarborough Stakes (Gr 3, 1200m), around the tight Moonee Valley course, yet she found a way to win and win well.

Kiwi Chronicles had this to say after Coeur Volante’s impressive performance in the Scarborough: “The way she attacks the line she has shown enough to be a threat to any three-year-old filly in Australia. Is it too early to call her a star? Perhaps, but do not be surprised if she goes on with it.”

A different pattern was successfully attempted in Saturday’s Group 2. From the widest ally, Blake Shinn was apparently caught a little by surprise when the filly flew the gates and sat much handier than usual – two out and two back.

She moved up short of the straight and challenged three wide into the straight before taking over. At the 200 metres she was in control and over the final 100 nothing was making any impression. This was a quality performance.

Used her tickets
Moroney describes Coeur Volante as special. Who could disagree? “I thought when they swung in, she’d used her tickets but gee she pulled that extra out,” said Moroney. “For a filly that has had very little practice, she did a good job getting across because she had to go again to get there. I thought it was a great effort.”

Shinn echoed Moroney’s comment: “It was a great effort by my girl. She’s a really talented horse as she displayed at The Valley and the job was going to be for me and the horse to overcome that draw.”

Moroney suggested: “The decision we’ve got to make now is if we give her a run ten days before, on Melbourne Cup Day, or whether we go straight into it [the Guineas].” 

Saturday’s win was only her fourth start and third win including two Group stakes, She has banked $340,290, a great return on the $90,000 that Ballymore Stables outlayed for her at the NZB 2022 Karaka Yearling Sale (Book 2).

An attractive dark bay, Coeur Volante was sold through Kelly Van Dyk’s Prima Park draft. She is the second winner from Shanina, a Testa Rossa (Perugino) winner of five races.

Her grandam, Feisty Rose (Fusaichi Pegasus) is a half-sister to Sydney Listed winner, Rose Of Peace (Hussonet). The next dam is Rose O’ War (Danehill), one of the better Australian three-year-old fillies of her year, winning four stakes, two of them at Group level.

Rose O’ War inherited much of her ability from her dam, Savana City (New Regent), a top-ranked three-year-old filly and winner of the Australian Oaks (Gr 1, 2400m) and producer of four stakes winners.

And talking of exciting 3YOs…..
Locally, Crocetti (Zacinto) is taking all before him and took his game to another level when scoring the James & Annie Sarten Memorial (Gr 2, 1400m) at Te Rapa on Saturday.

With fellow star 3YO Tokyo Tycoon (Satono Aladdin) on the sidelines, he met the previously unbeaten Lupo Solitario (Satono Aladdin), plus an honest and game To Catch A Thief (U S Navy Flag).

This was a worthy test but from the gates (he actually dipped soon after the start) he took control and looked very comfortable past the 1000 metres, the 600 metres and into the straight. Warren Kennedy, who has ridden him throughout, waited for the challenges and when they occurred let out the reins. His mount went clear at the 200 and inside the 100-metre mark was in no danger.

This was too easy. The time was also good: 1:22.23, the last 600 metres in 34.02 seconds and his unbeaten sequence of five wins remains intact.

Runnerup Lupo Solitario would have benefitted from the race which was just his third. He threw out a solid challenge from the 200 metres and even if he did not make much impression on the winner, came back well when third looked like his lot.

Crocetti can run on all surfaces. He has succeeded on a Heavy 9 surface as well as Saturday’s Good 3. At his previous start he proved that he can take a sit then finish best. Clockwise or anti-clockwise makes no difference and the Sarten, over the 1400 metres, was his longest test yet and he ran it out very strongly. Therefore, it is no wonder that he is a very favourite for next month’s New Zealand 2,000 Guineas (Gr 1, 1600m). Additionally, Lupo Solitario will not be heading south to Riccarton and the Guineas.

“He’s a dream, he really is,” said co-trainer Danny Walker of Crocetti. “That was a good win today. He learned a lot last start. It was just one of those things, the way the race was run, and he was able to show that he could take a sit just off the pace. Today, I told Warren to just make his own luck, and he did that.”

The one remaining question mark is the 1600 metres of the Guineas, answered confidently by Walker. “We’re really looking forward to the 2,000 Guineas now. The step up to 1600 metres won’t bother him at all.”

Perhaps the only sad point of Crocetti’s recent success is that his sire, Zacinto (Dansili) is no longer with us. He passed away several weeks ago.

Zacinto has a New Zealand 2,000 Guineas winner to his credit. Ugo Foscolo won the Group 1 classic in 2016, another reason to suggest that Crocetti should get the distance. Coincidentally, Ugo Foscolo won the Sarten prior to the Guineas.

Crocetti’s dam, Gracehill, is a winning O’Reilly (Last Tycoon) sister to Group 3 winner, Killarney and half-sister to the Melbourne triple Group 3 winner, Crosshaven (Smart Missile). Gracehill produced three foals in New Zealand, Crocetti her last, but she is now in Australia. Her dam is the speedy Irish Colleen (Shinko King), winner of the Concorde Handicap (Gr 2, 1200m) and whose five foals were all winners.

Crocetti is a direct descendant of Australian Horse of the Year, Maybe Mahal (Maybe Lad). She not only won seven as two-year-old, she went on to score wins in the Newmarket Handicap (Gr 1, 1200m), the Doncaster Handicap (Gr 1, 1600m) and five Group 1s in total.

Crocetti was never offered for sale, but was retained by his breeders, D & E Nakhle and races in the colours of co-breeder Daniel Nakhle.

Notable mentions
There may well be a clinking of glasses at both Highview Stud and White Robe Lodge after this past weekend. 

Highview Stud’s Wrote (High Chaparral) was represented by all-the-way Tristarc Stakes (Gr 2, 1400m) winner, Wrote To Arataki, while White Robe Lodge’s Ghibellines (Shamardal) was represented by Palmetto, winner of the $1 million Five Diamonds Prelude (1500m) at Randwick.

Wrote To Arataki sure is tough. She had to work to get to the lead and even if she slowed the pace mid-race, her lead into the straight was not great, yet she never lay down for a most determined win, her second stakes and fifth career win. You have to dig deep in her pedigree, but when you do you will find that she descends from Diamond Lover (Sticks And Stones), the first daughter of the New Zealand Hall of Fame Broodmare Eight Carat (Pieces Of Eight).

Palmetto has graduated from deep South Island Listed class as a 3YO to Sydney class. The Prelude result was close to a dead-heat, but Palmetto had his head down at exactly the right moment, showing tenacious fight to the end.

He has not managed to add another stakes win, but has more than paid his way, Saturday’s win adding $580,000 to his account which currently stands at $1.4 million. Back in May at Gosford he boosted his account by $287,000 when taking out The Coast Handicap (1600m). One for the big money is Palmetto.

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