Gutsy Guineas win for Hard Merchandize (NZ)

An astute $38,000 purchase at the 2016 Select Sale at Karaka became a Group Two winner when Hard Merchandize (NZ) (Burgundy) scored a brave all-the-way win in Saturday’s $100,000 Sacred Falls Hawke’s Bay Guineas (1400m) at Hastings.

Hard Merchandize has breeding on his side, being by promising Cambridge Stud stallion Burgundy and out of the blue-blooded Pride And Passion – a mare by Encosta de Lago out of the Golden Slipper winner Calaway Gal.

But Vile was able to secure the youngster for just $38,000 and, after failed vet inspections thwarted potential sales offshore, Hard Merchandize has earned the Awapuni trainer and his band of co-owners more than $120,000 in prizemoney.

Hard Merchandize appeared to face an uphill task in the Guineas when he drew gate 14 in the 14-horse field, but rider Cameron Lammas sent him forward to take the lead and he dominated the race from in front.

He faced stern challenges in the straight from fellow Bostonian (NZ) (Jimmy Choux), Jimmy Lincoln (NZ) (Jimmy Choux) and Griffin (NZ) (Iffraaj), but Hard Merchandize showed great courage to fend them off and win by half a head.

Hard Merchandize has now won four of his seven career starts, two of them at stakes level. He claimed last season’s Listed Castletown Stakes (1200m).

“I’m really grateful to the vets who turned him down to be sold overseas,” Vile said. “They didn’t want anything to do with him, but I’m rapt to have him. It’s great to win a race like this.

“We had to do something from that bad draw, and he went straight to the front and dictated the race from there. He’s a gutsy horse and he showed that today.”

The Guineas win made it an outstanding Hawke’s Bay spring carnival for Karaka graduates sired by Burgundy. The Group 3 Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) had been won by Dijon Bleu (NZ), who cost $26,000 at the 2016 Select Sale.

Vendor Little Avondale Stud
Purchaser Mr GR Vile (Palmerston North)
Breeding Burgundy – Pride And Passion
Sale Lot 473, 2016 Select Sale, $38,000