Hasahalo (NZ) excels in New Zealand 1000 Guineas

Savabeel filly Hasahalo (NZ) was one of the best two-year-old fillies of her generation last season, and on Saturday she roared into New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year contention with a block-buster performance in the $300,000 Group 1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton.

The winner of the Group 3 Eclipse Stakes (1200m) on New Year’s Day and a fast-finishing second in the Karaka Million (1200m) four weeks later, Hasahalo had failed to fire in two spring starts in a campaign plagued by wet weather.

On Saturday she finally stuck a dry track and she relished the 1600 metres at roomy Riccarton, flying home from well back in the field with Sam Spratt in the saddle. She hit the lead inside the last 200 metres and romped away, opening up a commanding winning margin of four lengths at the line.

The second and third placegetters were Dijon Bleu (NZ) (Burgundy) and The Lustre (NZ) (Darci Brahma).

“She went past them like they were tied to the ground,” Spratt said. “When I asked her to go she had fire coming out her back end.”

Trained by Stephen McKee for the Go Racing Fright Night Breeding Partnership, Hasahalo has now had nine starts for two wins, two placings and $411,000 in prize-money.

Hasahalo was bred by Isabel O’Shea and Waikato Stud, and she was a $110,000 purchase at the 2016 Premier Sale at Karaka.

The win completed a remarkable Guineas double for Waikato Stud and their champion stallion Savabeel. The previous Saturday’s $500,000 Group 1 Al Basti Equiworld New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) was won by the Waikato Stud-bred Embellish (NZ) – a Savabeel colt bought at Karaka for $775,000.

Victory in the 1000 Guineas earned Hasahalo 12 points for the Filly of the Year Series, moving her up to second place on the table. Dijon Bleu already had 6 points from her win in the Group 3 Gold Trail Stakes (1600m), and she earned another 7 points for her 1000 Guineas second placing to retain her lead with 13 points. Guineas third placegetter The Lustre has moved into third with 3.5 points.

The Filly of the Year Series continues next month with the $70,000 Group 3 LawnMaster Eulogy Stakes (1600m) at Awapuni on December 16.

Vendor Waikato Stud
Purchaser Go Racing (Auckland)
Breeding Savabeel - Halloween
Sale Lot 314, 2016 Premier Sale, $110,000

In other news Well-bred entire Ocean Emperor (NZ) (Zabeel) stepped up to black-type level and greatly enhanced his value with victory in Saturday’s $100,000 Group 2 Gartshore Tauranga Stakes (1600m).

Ridden by Mark Hills for Matamata trainer Gary Hennessy, the six-year-old finished over the top of well-performed rivals Miss Wilson (Stratum) and Kawi (NZ) (Savabeel) to win the weight-for-age feature by a length and a quarter.

It was the sixth win of an injury-interrupted 16-start career for Ocean Emperor, who has now won $119,625 in prize-money for his owners Gary Hennessy, Andrew Wong and Steve Yan.

A son of the Pins mare Tootsie (NZ), who was a Group 3 winner and placed at Group 1 level, Ocean Emperor was bred by Waikato Stud’s Garry Chittick and cost $450,000 as a yearling.

“Gary Hennessy has done an unbelievable job with this horse,” Waikato Stud principal Mark Chittick told NZ Racing Desk. “He’s been so patient and he’s always rated him so highly.

“Good on him, off the back of Ocean Park (NZ) (Thorn Park) they bought this horse for $450,000 from us. They deserve it, he’s won a really nice race and it’s still early days, the horse hasn’t had much racing.”

Vendor Waikato Stud
Purchaser Mr G Hennessy (Matamata)
Breeding Zabeel – Tootsie
Sale Lot 402, 2013 Premier Sale, $450,000

Te Akau Racing’s David Ellis had big plans in mind for Al Hasa (NZ) (Exceed And Excel) when he bought him at Karaka, and the blue-blooded colt took a huge step in the right direction in the $50,000 Listed Barneswood Farm Welcome Stakes (1000m) at Riccarton on Saturday.

The perennial leading buyer at the Premier Sale, Ellis paid $625,000 to buy the son of Group 1-placed mare Oasis Rose (Oasis Dream) and made no secret of his opinion of the colt.

“The race I’ve always really wanted to win is the Golden Slipper, and I believe that this is that sort of colt,” he said after signing the paperwork in January. “The colt’s pedigree is outstanding and he has impressed me all the way through.”

Raced by the Te Akau 2017 Breeding Syndicate, Al Hasa did a few things wrong in finishing a close second on debut at Ellerslie late last month. Saturday’s black-type feature was a very different story.

Ridden by Opie Bosson, Al Hasa took the lead early in the race and never looked back. He streaked down the straight and went further and further ahead of his rivals, crossing the line six lengths clear.

“He’s one of the best two-year-olds I’ve sat on for a while,” Bosson said. “He’s a great prospect for the Karaka Million and maybe even the Slipper.”

Al Hasa was bred by Cambridge Stud’s Sir Patrick and Lady Hogan in partnership with prominent Hong Kong owner-breeder Dr Gene Tsoi

Vendor Cambridge Stud
Purchaser Mr DC Ellis (Te Akau)
Breeding Exceed and Excel – Oasis Rose
Sale Lot 312, 2017 Premier Sale, $625,000