Baltika (9) scores on debut, in the colours of Japan Cup winner Horlicks. www.raceimages.co.nz
After a son of Champagne winning, it seemed only natural that a granddaughter of Japan Cup winner Horlicks should oblige in the following event at Taupo on Wednesday.
Baltika (3 Gr. F. Stravinsky – Zambuca, by Zabeel), a granddaughter of Horlicks (Three Legs – Malt, by Moss Trooper), who won the 1989 Japan Cup in a world record time of 2:22.2 for the 2400m, shares the same ownership, that of owner-breeder Graham de Gruchy.
De Gruchy said, “It’s a great thrill, nice to see the colours up again, and she’s grey like her grandmother, fantastic.”
The win also kept the ball rolling for Hastings trainer John Bary, after he had prepared Jimmy Choux (Thorn Park) to take out the Group II Hawkes Bay Guineas at Hastings last Saturday.
Unfortunately, stable rider Johnathan Riddell, who scored aboard Jimmy Choux, was unable to fulfil his riding engagements during the programme at Taupo, the winning mount picked up by Samantha Spratt.
Spratt had to earn her money as Baltika was keen in the early stages, and required settling before being produced in ominous fashion four wide on the home turn. She sprinted to lead in mid-straight and strode clear in impressive manner to win the Magic Millions 3YO Maiden over 1200-metres by one-and-a-quarter-lengths, 1:14.35 the time on Dead4 footing.
Bary said Baltika holds a nomination for the 1000 Guineas at Riccarton on November 13, while suggesting a race for three-year-old fillies over 1400m at Trentham on Wellington Guineas Day, October 23, could be a suitable stepping stone to the $300,000 group one mile.