New Zealand's premier weight-for-age-race, the $250,000, Group , Kit Ormond Memorial Spring Classic (2040m), saw the crowning of New Zealand's newest racing star with a gun performance by Karaka graduate Wall Street on the final day of the Hawke's Bay Spring Carnival on Saturday.
The Jeff Lynds trained Wall Street (Montjeu x Villa Wanda) produced an outstanding performance at his first attempt beyond a mile and showed that he is all class winning the Group 1 feature.
After drawing wide, the son of Montjeu jumped too well according to jockey Michael Coleman, forcing him to ditch plans of riding Wall Street back in the field and take the five-year-old forward. In a move which proved to be most beneficial, Wall Street traveled beautifully, settling well on the rail behind race leader Bruce Almighty. At the six hundred metre mark, Coleman had Wall Street off the bit and challenging Bruce Almighty, taking the lead at the top of the straight.
Two lengths clear at the 300 metre mark, Wall Street looked vulnerable as Keep the Peace (Keeper x Peace of Mind) and Ginga Dude (Isitdaad x Clatitude) emerged from the pack but the triple Group 1 winner kept finding, showing he had no problems with the 2040 metres, to win by three-quarters-of-a-length.
The Graeme Boyd trained Ginga Dude showed he can still match up to New Zealand's best with another solid performance in the race, running into second place in the hands of Hayden Tinsley. Mudgway Stakes winner Keep the Peace also produced another honest effort after traveling off the pace and ran on well for third place. She will now be looking at Australia in the hope off further Group 1 spoils, holding nominations for the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.
In an interview after the race, Wall Street's trainer Jeff Lynds finally revealed the plans for the talented five-year-old.
"Now we are going to try to climb Everest, after today's run we have to have a crack. It will be a tough race but they are there to be knocked off."
After a lot of speculation, Lynds was confirming his charge's tilt at the A$3 million Tatt's Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on 23 October. In a race that is shaping up to be one of the strongest Cox Plates in years, Wall Street will face his biggest test yet against the likes of So You Think and More Joyous.
Wall Street was bought at the 2006 Karaka Premier Yearling sale for $100,000. Owned by the G G Syndicate Ltd, G K V Holdings Ltd & M A Head, he has made 17 race-day appearances for 10 wins and $691,275 in stakes. Wall Street's half-brother has been nominated for the 2011 Karaka National Yearling Sale Series.
On the support card, the Group 2 New Zealand Bloodstock Insurance Hawke's Bay Guineas (1600m) saw a talented field of two-year-olds take to the track, with the favorite Jimmy Choux (Thorn Park x Cierzo) becoming the sixth consecutive colt to take the honours in the race.
With the lead hotly contested, the son of Thorn Park settled third off the pace after jumping well for Jonathan Riddell. Traveling strongly from the 600 metre mark, the John Bary trained Jimmy Choux produced a strong rails run taking the lead from race leader Maradona to win by half a length.
The Jason Bridgman trained Icepin (Pins x Ice Maiden) put in a huge performance, showing the form that saw him win the Group 3 Waikato Stud Classic as a two-year-old, for a close second place.
Strong in the finish after being run down in the straight, Maradona (Mr. Nancho x Cashcade) lost no admirers after being forced to work early in the race and showed he is up with the best of them.
Owned by Chouxmaani Investments Limited, Jimmy Choux has had 10 starts for four wins and stakes of $177,175. Local trainer John Bary has outlined that the colt may head to Australia but his main target is the 2000 Guineas at Riccarton, a race that has seen a number of Hawke's Bay Guineas winners perform well in.
In a day that produced so much, it seemed fitting that last season's champion filly Katie Lee (Pins x Miss Jessie Jay) would return to the form that saw her win last season's New Zealand Bloodstock's Filly of the Year Series and be crowned New Zealand's Champion 3YO.
The long-awaited return of the tough filly was nothing short of stunning in the Group 3 $70,000 Traderacks Stakes (1400m) in Hastings.
Riding under the instructions of trainers Graeme and Debbie Rogerson, James McDonald had Katie Lee settled well back in the running at the back of the field. With the leading pack pinching a break at the point of the turn, the daughter of Pins was trailing many lengths from the lead and had a lot of work to do. Biding his time, James McDonald got Katie Lee to the outside and in the hoof prints of Xcellent's 2005 Mudgway Stakes win, unleashed an unbelievable turn off foot, mowing down the field to beat Alagant Satin (Al Akbar x Glowing Satin) by a nose.
After an outstanding last season which saw her become the first horse in New Zealand history to win the 1000 and 2000 Guineas double, the return of Katie Lee has been eagerly awaited by her fans. With nominations for the fillies and mares races in Melbourne, the first being the Matriarch Stakes, the daughter of Pins will be a force to reckon with if she can continue to reel off finishes like the one witnessed on Saturday.
Bought at the 2008 Karaka Premier Yearling sale for $340,000, Katie Lee is owned by Sir Patrick & Lady Hogan and registered her eighth win on Saturday to take her stakes earnings to $1,099,675.
Other notable performances on Saturday included the win by Altered Image (Strategic Image x Dented Ambition) who the $30,000 Hawke's Bay DHL Global Handicap (1200). A winner of the Group 1 Levin Classic (1600m) at three, the Michael Moroney & Andrew Clarken trained mount took full advantage of the good track winning by an easy two lengths.
Altered Image was bought by Paul Moroney Bloodstock from the 2007 Karaka Festival Sale for $20,000. The Group 1 winner has earned his connections over $270,000.
The Listed $45,000 CJC Spring Classic Handicap saw another New Zealand Bloodstock graduate salute the judge with Chase the Sun (Pentire x Glimmer) notching up his fifth win for trainer, Michael Pittman. Chase the Sun was bought at the 2005 Karaka Select Yearling sale by Casitas Bloodstock for $25,000 and has earned over $150,000 in stakes.