Kiwi Chronicles

It’s been a while…

The solitary New Zealand black-type race last Saturday was the Tauranga Classic (Listed, 1400m) for fillies and mares and the winner Casino Princess (Casino Prince) represents a wonderful old family. Although, it has been some time, more than 30 years, since black-type within the first three generations of this branch of her family has occurred.

Casino Princess is building a healthy record. Saturday’s stakes breakthrough was just her 11th start and fifth success. Her owners, which include her trainer Cliff Goss, have been mighty patient with the mare. She did not race at two and her first appearance resulted in an unplaced effort, experiencing a chequered run for seventh. She was briefly put aside, returning in the March of her three-year-old career.

On a Heavy 10 track at Tauranga, her home course, that day she spreadeagled the field to bolt in by more than seven lengths but her next start, a few weeks later at Matamata, resulting in a narrow win, was equally impressive as she had to switch ground several times for a run before lunging late for the victory.

One year and one day later, back at Matamata, she won again, this time taking over at the top of the straight then dared to be headed to win comfortably by a length, completing her second season, a three time winner in four starts.

This season as a five-year-old she raced twice in the spring but at her second start bled, forcing a compulsory stand-down and did not reappear until four months ago, finishing a game third. Mid March saw her second, beaten a long head at her home course followed by another second, this time at Te Rapa where her rider lost her whip at the 300 metre mark. Last month at Rotorua she added win four, again took the lead soon after straightening and held on well.

Saturday’s win was as easy as any of her wins so far. Caught wide soon after the jump rider Jasmine Fawcett was forced to go forward before they reached the end of the back straight. Sitting outside the leader to the 500 metres they took over upon reaching the home straight and had the race in safe keep inside the 200 metres. Second was Group 1 placed Malt Time (Adelaide).

Provided the mare remains out of trouble there is the September target of the Tarzino Trophy (Gr 1, 1400m) at Hastings to look forward to. Perhaps the one doubt is whether she will perform as well on top of the ground as all her wins have been on soft or heavy surfaces. Hastings in September might be kind to her.

Casino Princess is one of two winners from her dam Sonsy (Thorn Park), twice a winner including at Te Rapa. Her granddam, Flowing (Straight Strike), ranks as a half-sister to Rural Prince (Terreno), a Grafton Cup (Listed, 2300m) winner who raced during the late 1980s, the next most recent black-type winner. Rural Prince recorded a third in the Great Northern Guineas (Gr 2, 1600m) when in New Zealand and added a third in the Newcastle Gold Cup (Gr 2, 2300m).

Rural Prince’s dam, the unraced Floral Queen (Adios), may provide part of the clue as to why Casino Princess is so adept on rain-affected tracks as she is a three-quarter sister to one of the best wet-trackers of his era, namely Greek Meer (Adios). Greek Meer, a Group 3 winner at Avondale won 13 times and his other wins included Trentham’s premier winter mile, the Whyte Handicap (Listed, 1600m), a race he won twice. Another was the top winter staying race at Trentham, the Parliamentary Handicap (Listed 2200m).

The next generation is better known as Floral Queen’s half-sister was Group 3 and twice Listed winner Summer Fleur (Sovereign Edition), the dam of Melbourne Cup victress Empire Rose (Sir Tristram). Greek Meer’s dam is a three-quarter sister to Group 2 winner Sweet Wren (Able Seaman), ancestress of Grosvenor (Sir Tristram), Lankan Rupee (Redoute’s Choice) and Lonhro (Octagonal).


Inglewood strikes again

To find New Zealand stakes success in Australia this past weekend we need to trek across the Nullarbor to Perth where Luvnwar (War Decree) scored the Belmont Guineas (Listed, 1600m). She was the sole New Zealand-bred in the race.

Kiwi Chronicles of June 10th made mention to Luvnwar’s first win out west since being sent from the South Island to race in Bob Peters’ colours of cerise with white crossed sashes. In three starts from her new home she is now two from three and for her sire, War Decree (War Front), sets up a nice way to wind the season down.

For Inglewood Stud, a second stakes winner within a few weeks of a stunning ten length win by Warmonger (War Decree) in the Queensland Derby (Gr 1, 2400m), is exactly the tonic that the South Island breeding industry needs.

Inglewood’s Gus Wigley reports that since Warmonger’s Derby win more than 50 bookings have rolled in and after the Perth result those bookings will no doubt keep pouring in. If breeders are waiting, they might ask themselves: Why?

Sam Beatson of Riversley Park purchased Luvnwar for $22,500 from Book 2 of the 2022 NZB Karaka Yearling Sale. The filly had three starts in New Zealand for a win and a Group 3 third in the Barnswood Farm Stakes (Gr 3, 1400m) last October. 

At Belmont for the Guineas she was always well placed and had sufficient room, away from the fence prior to straightening, to pounce. Three deep at the top of the straight she challenged the leaders at the 200 metres and once in front from the 100 metres was always in control, drawing away to take her record to three wins, a second and a third in six starts.

Luvnwar is a half-sister to Southland Guineas (Listed, 1600m) winner Chokito (Vespa), the only two foals from their dam, Pretty Woman (Pins) to race. Sadly, Pretty Woman died after producing three foals of which Luvnwar is her last. Granddam Howmuchyacharging (Howbaddouwantit) won the Highview Stakes (Gr 3, 1200m) and placed third in the Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (Gr 1, 1400m).

Howmuchyacharging is a daughter of Fairdale Lass (Centaine), bred, unsurprisingly, by Fairdale Stud from a Biscay (Star Kingdom) mare they bred from during the 80s and 90s. That mare was Gay Antoinette and she produced two Group 3 winners. One in particular was the highclass sprinter Rock You (Oregon) whose best winning performance was the Rupert Steele Stakes (Gr 3, 1200m) at Flemington. He placed second three times in Group 1 Melbourne sprints.

From Kalgoorlie to Belmont

Looking at the history of Californication (Preferment) there will likely be some head scratching by his initial owners who, after purchasing him for $280,000 at the 2021 NZB Karaka Yearling Sales (Book 1), sent him back to an
online auction before he raced, realising a meagre $3,250.

He won two of his four starts as a late three-year-old, both in Kalgoorlie plus placed in town at Belmont. At four he raced another six times for two more Kalgoorlie wins and two placings at Belmont. This season, from a new stable, that of Garry McPherson, he has raced twice.

Saturday’s win in the one metro win 1400 metre caught the attention of many as he was third last and widest when they reached the top of the straight. However, when he let down he strolled alongside the leaders at the 100 metres then pulled clear to win impressively taking his earnings to $125,210, a great return on the $3,250 which now looks like a steal.

The five-year-old has quite a family to draw upon and was probably bred with a purpose as his sire, Preferment is a son of Zabeel (Sir Tristram), the sire of his dam’s half-sister, dual Group 2 winner Lafleur (Zabeel). Californication’s great-granddam is the champion filly Habibti (Habitat), herself a half-sister to the gold mine and three-times New Zealand Broodmare of the Year, Eight Carat (Pieces Of Eight).

My kingdom for a filly

When a mare is the dam of two Group 1 winners, clearly she is out of the ordinary. When that same mare is the
granddam of two Group 1 winners within four days, that is extra special. When that same mare is the granddam of two Royal Ascot Group 1 winners within four days, that makes her outstanding.

Such a mare is Reem Three (Mark Of Esteem) whose racing talent was limited to three wins and a Listed placing at Newcastle, UK. At stud however Reem Three is in a different class. From twelve foals she has produced ten winners from ten to race. Better yet is that six of those ten are stakes winners, two being Group 1 winners.

This family could not be any hotter as Reem Three’s 2019 foal, Triple Time (Frankel), won the 2023 running of the Queen Anne Stakes (Gr 1, 1m).

Doubling down, this year’s Royal Ascot meeting resulted in two more Group 1 winners beginning with Reem Three’s grandson Rosallion (Blue Point) taking out the St James’s Palace Stakes (Gr 1, 1m) on the first day, his third elite level win having scored the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (Gr 1, 1400m) last October and the Irish Two Thousand Guineas (Gr 1, 1m) late last month. Interestingly, Rosallion’s dam, Rosaline (New Approach) was one of two foals of Reem Three’s that did not race.

On Royal Ascot’s fourth day, Reem Three struck again, this time via her Group 1 daughter Ajman Princess (Teofilo) whose son and only foal to race, Inisherin (Shamardal) cleared out before the furlong to score the Commonwealth Cup (Gr 1, 6f) in brilliant fashion.
Who wouldn’t love to own a filly from this family? Especially right now.

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