Kiwi Chronicles

Making an impact

Rich Hill Stud’s Satono Aladdin (Deep Impact) could have a second top notch three-year-old vying for honours this season, judging from the impressive winning effort from Lupo Solitario over a competitive field at Tauranga on Saturday, to remain unbeaten from two starts. 

Already represented by last season’s dual Oaks winner, Pennyweka, as well as champion two-year-old, Tokyo Tycoon, Satono Aladdin is doing all the right things and Lupo Solitario is shaping up to join them.

His ability was revealed at Te Rapa on debut a month ago, showing good acceleration from the 600 metres to pounce upon straightening. To the line, he was in command from the 200 metres and scored comfortably.

Stepping up against several well performed three-year-olds in Tauranga’s Ultimate Mazda 3YO (1300m), the gelding showed a rare quality; he sprinted twice. Once near the 200-metre mark to get alongside the leader and then again when challenged inside the last 100 metres to put them away.

Unbeaten in his two starts, the next obvious question is, where to next? A worthy goal might have been the New Zealand 2,000 Guineas (Gr 1, 1600m). However, his name is not among the early nominations.

In the meantime there is the James & Annie Sarten Memorial (Gr 2, 1400m) scheduled for Saturday, October 21 at Te Rapa. Another win there will answer a few more questions, but he will possibly have to contend with Tokyo Tycoon, who is now being considered for the Riccarton Classic with an Auckland-Christchurch flight being organised.

Satono Aladdin’s burst on to the New Zealand sire scene will need to be continued by just his first two crops, the oldest now four-year-olds, as there will be no two-year-olds by the stallion this season due to the 2020 pandemic. The sire did not shuttle to Rich Hill Stud that year.

An $82,500 purchase out of Book 2 at the 2022 New Zealand Bloodstock Karaka Yearling Sale, Lupo Solitario is the third foal from the Pentire (Be My Guest) mare She’s Aloof, herself a half-sister to Listed winners Include (Gallant Guru) and Sharp Princess (Pins).

Kiwi Chronicles contacted Rich Hill Stud’s John Thompson for an update on the mare. 

“She’s Aloof is here at the farm and due to foal to Proisir, who is also the sire of her yearling filly. In 2021 she produced a filly by Ace High, a filly we decided to retain,” he said.  

That decision may turn out to be a brainwave.

Lupo Solitario’s third dam, Slightly Aloof, is a winning Centaine (Century) sister to the outstanding Slight Chance (Centaine), winner of the VRC Oaks (Gr 1, 2500m), the Flight Stakes (Gr 1, 1600m) and four further Group 1s.

Thompson added: “Apart from Tokyo Tycoon, fellow three-year-olds Lupo Solitario and Lantern Way are all being aimed at the $1.5 million Karaka 3YO Classic. The stud bred and sold them all.”

Still on a high after their flagship stallion Proisir (Choisir) upended an eight-year stranglehold on the New Zealand sire premiership by Savabeel (Zabeel), Rich Hill’s supporting sires, Shocking (Street Cry) and Ace High (High Chaparral), are chiming in weekly.

Shocking sired Shock ‘Em Ova to an impressive last-to-first win on the Caulfield undercard on Saturday, his third win in only seven starts. Meanwhile, Ace High has got the season off to a fine start with three winners, including an early fancy for the New Zealand 1,000 Guineas (Gr 1, 1600m) in Molly Bloom. Rich Hill’s roster is firing on all cylinders.

Rain dance

Rain sufficient to downgrade the Awapuni track to a winter-like Heavy 10 surface played into the hands of Belardo Boy (Belardo), who splashed his way to a second Group 3 victory in the Metric Mile (1600m) having taken out the Winter Cup (1600m) two starts back.

He found a lane right down the outside rail for his eighth win at start 30, five of those taking place on heavy tracks. Once balanced, Joe Doyle asked for his best inside the 300 metres and he kept up a strong run to collar the leader at the 100-metre mark. To the line, he was in total control.

Sitting second on the New Zealand sire list for the new season, Belardo (Lope De Vega) shuttled to Haunui Farm from 2017 until 2022 but will be missing this season, due simply to poor patronage. The stallion’s stats from his southern hemisphere-bred crops read three stakes winners from 129 starters, while globally he has nine stakes winners and 11 stakes-placed runners, with a quite healthy 54 per cent winners-to-runners ratio (188 from 343 to race).

Earlier this year, he sired his first elite-level winner through Santa Anita Frank E Kilroy Stakes (8f) victor, Golden Phoenix.

From Belardo’s initial crop, Belardo Boy is the only winner from his Group 3-placed dam, L’Amour (Towkay), a seven-time winner whose career included three wins at Trentham plus successes at Riccarton and Awapuni. She was certainly above average.

Purchased by his trainer, Lisa Latta, Belardo Boy was a $28,000 buy from Book 2 of the 2020 New Zealand Bloodstock Karaka Yearling Sale. His third dam, Blue Bonny (Blue Razor), is a half-sister to three stakes winners, including Julinsky Princess (Stravinsky), who is in turn the dam of dual Group 1 winner Julinsky Prince (Darci Brahma).

The old guard

The revitalisation of New Zealand’s sire ranks is apparent. There is a slow changing of the guard taking place, yet the old guard refuses to be quieted, especially Tavistock (Montjeu).

Kiwi Chronicles touched on the growing record of Marquess (Tavistock) several weeks ago and the five-year-old continued on his winning way on Saturday, clearing out from the 200 metres over 1900 metres at Rosehill. This was his fifth win in ten starts and fourth in his last five starts. It will be a huge surprise if he doesn’t take on, and score, at black-type level, adding to Tavistock’s tally of 44 stakes winners.

The Godolphin-owned, James Cummings-trained gelding holds a nomination for The Metropolitan (Gr 1, 2400m) which would mean a seven-day back up. Failing that, there will be plenty of opportunities to take his talent to the next level.

It’s early in the season but Tavistock holds fourth spot on the New Zealand sire ranking and 12th on the Australian ranking.

Sunline’s grandson salutes

Tavistock provides the perfect segway into this piece. It has been five years in the making but the easy winner of a 1600-metre maiden at Matamata last Wednesday, Sun And Heir (Tavistock), bred and part-owned by Henrietta, Duchess of Bedford, has quite a story to tell.

Actually, his story begins further back, as Henrietta explains.

“I had so much admiration for Sunline. From the moment I heard that Sunline had visited Hussonet I hoped that she would have a filly. She did. From then on, all I hoped was that a daughter of that mating would one day be sold. I really had a fixation about it,” she said.

“Well, in 2018 she herself appeared in the May Sale catalogue. Her name was Sunsett. I could not believe that (the late) Trevor (McKee) was selling her.

“He had not had her covered for three years. When I asked him why, he said he hated breeding and did not know what to send her to anyway. The last mating he had done was to Ekraar. When I questioned that, pointing out that Ekraar is Hussonet’s half-brother, he said he had not known that!”

Sun And Heir is from the last crop of Tavistock and was a no-brainer mating arranged by The Duchess. 

“So, I bought her and I sent her to Tavistock. She had a colt, but what I really wanted was a filly. Eight hours after foaling, Sunsett died and eight weeks later Tavistock died, so, the colt was then, truly an orphan,” she said.

“When we found a foster mare the result was amazing – she was by Montjeu, like Tavistock, and she had my Bloomsbury Stud brand!”

Forward to last Wednesday at Matamata and Race 1, a maiden over 1600 metres. The now four-year-old entire led or shared the early lead, then took over inside the final 1200 metres. He was a comfortable length in front into the straight then kicked, put four lengths on them inside the final 200 metres and was never going to be headed after that.

If he has inherited even a smidgen of his grandmother’s front-running ability, he should pay his way.

Australian three-year-old scene

Sydney’s Golden Rose (Gr 1, 1400m) and Melbourne’s Caulfield Guineas Prelude (Gr 3, 1400m) produced grandstand finishes in which there were many chances in both races yet each fell to withering finishes from Militarize (Dundeel) and Steparty (Artie Schiller) respectively.

‘Magic Man’, Joao Moreira wielded his wand in a stunning performance. As close as the 200-metre mark Militarize was not going to feature in the finish as he was in severe traffic. The wizard waited until the last possible moment, then unleashed over the final 50 metres to overpower his rivals.

While he carries the NZ suffix, Militarize was conceived in Australia and, although foaled here at Haunui Farm, he was in New Zealand for merely weeks before his dam, then in foal to Super Seth (Dundeel), was sent back across the Tasman.

Steparty’s win involved a longer, sustained finish from well back and he was no certainty at the 100-metre mark. Showing great courage, he had more momentum but still had to thrust his head out near the line for a gutsy win, his fifth from as many starts.

Both are headed for the Caulfield Guineas (Gr 1, 1600m) which should be some race.

Another exciting three-year-old is Ozzmosis (Zoustar), from Bjorn Baker’s stable, who is also unbeaten in three starts, after a decisive win in the Heritage Stakes (Listed, 1100m). He put paid to them from the 150 metres to win well and there is now talk of his being granted a slot in the rich The Everest (1200m).

Three-year-olds have a good record in the event. Yes Yes Yes (Rubick) won the third running and set the race record of 1:07.32 and Giga Kick (Scissor Kick) won the sixth edition last year.

Adding to the intrigue of the race is that Giga Kick has been withdrawn from this year’s running through injury. That fact alone might be enough for a syndicate to take their chances and opt for an Ozzmosis entry.

Ozzmosis has a close New Zealand connection. His dam is No More Tears, a stakes-winning Darci Brahma (Danehill) mare, whose four wins included three at stakes level, namely in the Mr Tiz Trophy (Gr 3, 1200m) and the Soliloquy Stakes (Listed, 1400m) at Ellerslie plus the Star Way Stakes (Listed, 1100m) at Te Rapa, which she landed on debut.

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