Elite Karaka yearling Embellish claims NZ 2000 Guineas

The prestigious $500,000 Group 1 Al Basti Equiworld New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) is developing a reputation as a stallion-making race, and the blue-blooded $775,000 colt Embellish (NZ) (Savabeel) could follow that path after a superb win in the Riccarton classic on Saturday.

Embellish was one of three runners in Saturday’s race carrying the tangerine colours of Te Akau Racing, which is headed by Karaka’s perennial leading buyer David Ellis. The outstanding colt lived up to his pedigree, his looks and his hot favouritism as he cruised to the lead in the straight and beat a star-studded field by a length and a quarter.

His stablemate Age Of Fire (Fastnet Rock) was second, with the stable’s other runner Te Akau Shark (NZ) (Rip Van Winkle) close-up in fourth. Spoiling the Te Akau trifecta by a nose was the third-placed Karaka graduate Ever Loyal (Sebring).

“This is one of New Zealand’s iconic races,” Ellis said. “I bought Embellish to win this race, he’s a stunning colt, and everything we’ve done with him has been with the 2000 Guineas in mind.

“They’re a great bunch of owners, they’ll really celebrate this and they deserve to. They’re what racing’s about. A lot of the syndicate are also in the ownership of Age Of Fire as well, so this is a great result for them.”

A full-brother to the Group 1 winner Diademe (NZ) (Savabeel), Embellish has now had four starts for three wins, one placing and more than $315,000 in prize-money.

Te Akau Racing have now won the 2000 Guineas six times, and five of them have been Karaka graduates – King’s Chapel (King Of Kings), Darci Brahma (NZ) (Danehill), Rock ‘N’ Pop (Fastnet Rock), Xtravagant (NZ) (Pentire) and Embellish.

Vendor Waikato Stud Ltd
Purchaser Mr DC Ellis (Te Akau)
Breeding Savabeel – Bling
Sale Lot 200, 2016 Premier Sale, $775,000

In stark contrast to the 2000 Guineas victory by a $775,000 yearling purchase, Saturday’s $75,000 Listed Redwood Metropolitan Trophy (2500m) at Riccarton was won by a horse whose two trips through the Karaka sale ring amassed a total of just $30,000.

Aspen Lass (NZ) (Alamosa) cost $5000 as a Select Sale yearling and $25,000 at the Ready to Run Sale. After a come-from-behind win in Saturday’s staying feature, she is now the winner of five races and more than $112,000 in prize-money.

“This is our first horse,” said Graeme Causer, who owns the mare in partnership with his wife Leah. “She didn’t cost a lot, but it goes to show you can have some big thrills with the cheaper horses.”

Ridden by Alysha Collett for trainer Terri Rae, Aspen Lass dropped to the back of the small field and bided her time until the home turn. Then Collett brought her to the outside of the track and she showed a stylish turn of foot, reeling in the leaders and charging to victory by a length and three-quarters.

Fellow Karaka graduates Imperium (NZ) (Encosta de Lago) and Grazia (NZ) (Savabeel), both trained by Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards, were second and third.

Vendor Select: Wellfield LodgeRTR: Bradbury Park
Purchaser Select: Phill Cataldo Bloodstock (Auckland)RTR: Mr PA Willetts (Auckland)
Breeding Alamosa – Tief
Sale Lot 858, 2014 Select Sale, $5000 Lot 196, 2014 Ready to Run Sale, $25,000