Kiwi Chronicles

It’s just the way it is

Last week Haunui Farm and its former stallions Belardo (Lope De Vega) and Iffraaj (Zafonic) were the subject of our coverage. This week it’s Waikato Stud’s turn due to an inter-state double achieved by the late Sacred Falls (O’Reilly).

In a Waikato Stud quinella, Rhapsody Chic (Sacred Falls), winner of the last on Saturday’s Randwick card, a Benchmark 78 (1400m), formed the quinella with Waikato sired Pure Alpha (Ardrossan) and they were the only New Zealand-breds in the race.

Pure Alpha, the favourite, looked to have the best chance of winning at the 100 metres but Rhapsody Chic maintained a strong run from secondlast into the straight. Once he saw a clear path from the 300 metres he wore down the leader, recording his fourth win in eight starts. He has plenty of ability and is most consistent. In his other four starts he has not finished further back than third.

The four-year-old gelding began his career in New Zealand and was an impressive winner on debut at Matamata 13 months ago, racing well clear after co-leading into the straight.

Sold to Australian interests he resumed in Victoria with a placing last spring, was rested and placed three more times in the autumn, but since then has scored three wins on the trot. His win leading up to Saturday’s success was at Sandown-Hillside on June 19 and was a professional effort. It will be no surprise to see him continue, a thought echoed by his rider Nash Rawiller, who said: “He’s a horse you can definitely follow with a bit of confidence.”

Rhapsody Chic is a graduate of the 2021 NZB Ready to Run Sale although he failed to reach his reserve of $25,000 when offered through the Pertab Racing draft. Pertab’s reserve was quite modest especially as he had given $700 for the colt as a weanling from a on-line auction.

He is the sole winner from the Pour Moi (Montjeu) mare Boho Chic who ranks as a half-sister to Singapore champion Better Than Ever (French Deputy). The winner of more than S$2.5 million in Singapore, Better Than Ready was rated Singapore champion at two, three and four years, winning the rich Kranji Mile (Listed, 1600m) twice as well as the Raffles Cup (Listed, 1800m).

When in the twilight of his firstclass career, Better Than Ever found his way to New Zealand in 2012 as a six-year-old, and in five starts showed why his Singapore record was so good. Three of those races were at Group 1 level, including a second to Ocean Park (Thorn Park) in the New Zealand Stakes (Gr 1, 200m), and he bowed out of racing with a win in the Awapuni Gold Cup (Gr 2, 2000m).

New Zealand form holds up

The second Sacred Falls metro winner, Cindy Falls, also has New Zealand form and was having just her second start in Australia having won three of her 12 starts back home. Like Rhapsody Chic she too won on debut, but as a four-year-old, clearing out to score well at Pukekohe in March last year.

Her late April win, two starts back at Te Rapa, was another impressive effort as she was secondlast into the straight but with a strong run had the lead before the 100 metres and ran clear to win well.

In Saturday’s win at Flemington, the Leilani Series Final (1400m), her second start since being exported, she was a wide and a clear last at the 800 metres and still last when they straightened. Unleashing again in a sustained finish, she nailed the leader in the last stride and proved that her New Zealand form was indeed very good.

Cindy Falls also went through the NZB sales ring, in 2020, Book 2 of the National Yearling Sale as part of the Milan Park draft but was passed in with a reserve of $10,000. Saturday’s win brought her earnings to $156,485.

Should she achieve black type her progeny will have a nice page in any future catalogue as she ranks as a three-quarter sister to Aromatic (Sacred Falls) whose six wins included the Travis Stakes (Gr 2, 2000m), the Counties Cup (Gr 3, 2100m) and the Manawatu Breeders’ Stakes (Gr 3, 2000m).

Aromatic’s dam and Cindy Falls’ granddam is Vickezzchardonnay (Don Eduardo), a Group 3 winner and half-sister to two stakes winners, including Counties Cup (Gr 2, 2100m) victor The Mighty Finn (McGinty).

Kelly double

A notable training by Levin-based Ilone Kelly is worth a mention as she oversaw a back-to-back double at Hastings. One of her winners was Peppery, a four-year-old daughter of the ever-present Belardo. Her second winner was Amend (Wrote) who is putting together a healthy record.

Four-year-old Amend scored his fifth win (third this season) in 14 starts and has placed six times. In three of his previous wins he led and on Saturday he had the lead before they reached the first corner. Into the straight he kicked clear and had the race in safe keeping inside the 200 metres, winning by an eased down two and a quarter lengths. Given his own rules in front, this won’t be his last win.

Amend is the sole winner from his winning dam, Tansava (Savabeel), a half-sister to the stakes-placed Thunderstrike (Thunder Gulch). Amend’s great granddam is an Irish and Italian winning half-sister to Melbourne Cup (Gr 1, 3200m) victor Vintage Crop (Rousillon).

Westbury double

Haunui Farm’s Karaka neighbour Westbury Stud will be pleased to see Ferrando (Fast ‘N’ Famous) sire his first winner, Grove Street, who led all the way over 1100 metres and held on well under plenty of late pressure. The two-year-old, who was having his third start at Hastings on Saturday, is trained by Team Rogerson, who also trained Ferrando.

A Group 3 sprinter, he won on eight occasions, including Ellerslie’s Mr Tiz Trophy (Gr 3, 1200m), as well as Trentham’s Lightning Handicap (Listed, 1200m). Trentham was also the site of his two best placings, a second and a third in the Group 1 Telegraph Stakes (1200m).

It was another performance, in the last race on the card, that had patrons sit up and take notice. Westbury’s Redwood (High Chaparral) has a rising staying star in Who Knows whose run in the concluding 2100-metre handicap was outstanding.

Who Knows broke through at start three in late May at Woodville when bolting in by more than eight lengths. At Hastings on Saturday she was last at the 1200 metres, then moved up sharply but widest around the bend, reaching the home straight in front, yet three wide. From the top of the straight she gave nothing else a chance and was full of running at the line to win easily by four lengths. On that run she is sure to graduate to open company and perhaps seek some black type.

Should she succeed, similar to Cindy Falls she has worthwhile credentials in the bloodlines department. Her dam Bella Cappello (Zabeel) fetched $320,000 out of the Cambridge Stud draft at the 2006 NZB Premier Sale but she could only manage to place on the track. At stud her record has been patchy and she was sold as an empty mare in 2014 for $3d500 and imported back to New Zealand. Who Knows is her second winner.

Her granddam was top class. Cinder Bella (Victory Dance) won 12 times, including the Kelt Capital Stakes (Gr 1, 2050m) and the Captain Cook Stakes (Gr 1, 1600m). She also succeeded in five further stakes races and was Group 1 placed on three occasions.

Cinder Bella’s great granddam, Birthright (Rego), was a Group 2winning sister to champion Baguette (Rego) and half-sister to champion Cabochon (Edmundo).

Preferment double

Brighthill Farm’s Preferment (Zabeel) sired an international double when Canny Man landed his fourth win in the Benchmark 65 at Te Rapa and Strathtay made it two metro wins on end in Randwick’s Benchmark 78 (2000m).

The latter was the subject of a deep dive into his form after he won at Rosehill on June 15. Kept to 2000 metres, Strathtay started favourite but was giving the leader a good ten lengths at the 800 metres. Improving quickly but widest, he was out in the middle of the track when they began the homeward run and still had plenty to do.

His finish was not as commanding as that shown at Rosehill, but he showed great determination to level up to the leader inside the 100 metres, and even more determination to get his neck in front. Both wins were no flukes. This guy knows what his job is.

Predictable but stunning

Deep into the racing season and with just a few weeks remaining, the New Zealand Sires Premiership is done and dusted. It was clear some months ago that Savabeel (Zabeel) would resume his position as champion after eight successive titles up to 2022.

Predicting that he would again bag top honours was easy enough but he also wins on every metric: Sire of the most number of winners and most wins and sire of the most individual stakes winners and stakes wins. The stunning fact is his season’s earnings and the margin between him and last year’s champion Proisir (Choisir). More than $2 million is quite a statement and quite a return to the top.

Foxbridge (Foxlaw) still holds the record for number of titles at 11, and his were consecutive. Proisir spoiled the possibility of equalling that feat but Savabeel has a chance of overhauling Foxbridge’s total, although that will mean that he will have to win three more – a tall order.


Privacy Preference Center


Cookies that are primarily for advertising purposes



These are used to track user interaction and detect potential problems. These help us improve our services by providing analytical data on how users use this site.

_ga, _gid, _hjid, _hjIncludedInSample,