Proisir shows his Prowess in Rosehill domination

All-conquering Rich Hill Stud stallion claims feature double as Kiwi-trained filly streaks away with Vinery Stud Stakes

Proisir (Choisir) further etched his rising star status into the Australasian stallion landscape, with the Rich Hill Stud resident siring a three-year-old feature race double at Rosehill yesterday, headlined by a rampant victory for his daughter Prowess in the Vinery Stud Stakes (Gr 1, 2000m). 

Success for the Roger James and Robert Wellwood-trained Prowess (3 f Proisir – Donna Marie by Don Eduardo), who careered away to a three-and-a-quarter-length win down the centre of the Rosehill straight, secured Proisir his tenth Group 1 success as a sire from five Group 1 winners, while less than three hours earlier Tapildoodledo handed the stallion a 12th individual stakes winner when claiming the Tulloch Stakes (Gr 2, 2000m) with a surging run on the outside. 

Sent off the $2.15 favourite to land a first and coveted Australian Group 1 contest, Prowess charged into the lead under Mark Zahra with 200 metres to run, overhauling front-runner Soul Choice (Redoute’s Choice) and eventual runner-up Pavitra (American Pharoah), with victory never in doubt from the moment she loomed on the shoulder of her pacesetting rivals. 

Golden Slipper (Gr 1, 1200m) winner Fireburn (Rebel Dane) showed a further glimpse of her ability in snatching third as the best of five horses split by a head at the finish. 

Prowess’ Co-trainer James, who took his tally of Australian Group 1 winners, either on his own or in partnership with Wellwood, to six, believed the filly to be the best of a talented bunch that he’s trained in his established career. 

“I could have waited 40 years for this one. She’s special,” James said. “She does things that I haven’t had another horse be able to do and I’ve been very blessed. 

“I’ve had Zonda, who was always the benchmark, Silent Achiever. I’ve had some lovely horses over the years. 

“I’ve won this race with Sixty Seconds, but this filly does special things. I’ve thought it for a long time that she could be the best I’ve trained. She is a superstar, this filly.” 

Despite holding an entry for the Australian Oaks (Gr 1, 2400m) at Randwick on April 8, Prowess will return to New Zealand today, but it won’t be the last we see of the star filly on Australian soil, with James plotting further cross-Tasman riches next season. 

“The world is her oyster. Without being silly, there is a lot of money to be had as an older horse in Australia and she’s had quite a big season,” he said. 

“She’s been to the South Island and back, she is still learning her game too. We’ll get home and enjoy what we’ve just seen now and we can make plans from there.

“She is pretty versatile, she’s capable from 1400 to 2000 metres and I truly don’t believe she’s a mile-and-a-half horse. We took her out of the New Zealand Derby when she was vying for favouritism for it and she does hold a nomination for the Oaks. But she also holds a slot on the plane tomorrow and that will be the one she takes.”

Zahra, riding Prowess for the first time, was handed the ride due to suspension for champion jockey James McDonald. 

“I was able to sit up and enjoy the Group 1,” Zahra said. “Sorry to J Mac, but he’s got near 100 (Group 1 wins) and another 100 coming in the next year so I’ll take one.

“It was nice to get a pick-up ride like that and she was a level above.” 

Prowess, who commanded a $230,000 price as yearling when bought by her trainers, is one of four winners from four runners and the only stakes winner out of Donna Marie (Don Eduardo), herself a maiden mare from 12 starts. She was bred and sold by Mark Baker’s Hallmark Stud at the 2021 New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale. 

The Australian triumphs for Prowess last-start winner of the Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes (Gr 1, 2050m) in her home country and the Kerry Taplin-trained Tapildoodledo, added further emphasis to what has been an extraordinary season for Proisir, spearheaded by his three-year-old crop. 

The champion sire-elect in New Zealand, Proisir’s 12th individual stakes winner earned yesterday sees the stallion operating at a 5.4 per cent stakes-winners-to-runners ratio across his stud career, but with five stakes winners from 25 classic-crop runners, that metric leaps to a stunning 20 per cent, and a 12 per cent Group 1 winners-to-runners ratio. 

As detailed by ANZ Bloodstock News’ columnist Bren O’Brien in By The Numbers on Friday, Proisir is the leading Group 1 stallion in Australasia by every metric this season. He added further weight to those figures by adding his eighth Group 1 win of the season, two more than the six Group 1 wins, all for Anamoe, earned by Street Boss (Street Cry).

While Prowess’ favourite-tag victory was as comfortable as they come, the surprise success for Tapildoodledo in the Tulloch Stakes was anything but, as the gelding earned just a second victory from 14 starts when fending off fellow Kiwi bred Major Beel (Savabeel) and Awesome John (Awesome Rock) to win by a nose. 

A homebred for Kerry and Ian Taplin, the three-year-old became the first stakes winner for Kerry Taplin since the couple moved from New Zealand to set up on the Sunshine Coast last year. 

“It was amazing. To come all the way from the Sunshine Coast and to win it, incredible. I think we might be in the Derby now,” Ian Taplin said.

“He jumped out wide from the outside gate and he just went straight to the bend, and then he got one off and sat there until the 600-metre mark and then he got moving on him, and just got home.”

Tapildoodledo broke his maiden in November when winning a three-year-old contest at Eagle Farm but, despite only finishing outside the top four once in seven subsequent starts prior to yesterday, still has just two wins from 14 career starts. 

The gelding is a brother to the stakes placed filly Hot Tap, being out of the maiden mare Mrs Tappy (One Cool Cat), herself the daughter of New Zealand Oaks (Gr 1, 2400m) winner Tapildo (Rhythm). 

The couple will now seek to back up the son of Proisir in the Australian Derby (Gr 1, 2400m) next weekend. 

“I am confident he will get 2400 metres. The grandmother is Tapildo, who won an Oaks and would have gone further if given a chance,” said Taplin.

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