It was a weekend for the New Zealanders in Australia headlined by a New Zealand bred trifecta, which featured two of High Chaparral's sons, in the A$2,500,000 Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) in Melbourne.
With his tally of stakes winners now at 22 and superstar son So You Think lining up to defend his Cox Plate title on Saturday, hot young sire High Chaparral's top performing progeny have shone a spotlight on his 45 yearlings nominated for the National Yearling Sales Series at Karaka in January.
In a showcase of New Zealand staying talent Descarado (High Chaparral x Karamea Lady) took the lead with 300 metres to go in the prestigious cup race before a brave challenge by Karaka graduate Harris Tweed (ex Sally) saw the son of Montjeu draw level at the 200 metre mark. But Descarado dug deep and found plenty to take the race by a length, stealing the chances of a trans-Tasman double for Harris Tweed's trainers Murray and Bjorn Baker after a filly from their stable, Twilight Saving, won the $45,000 Listed Lion Red Plate in Rotorua the same day.
Placed fifth in the Melbourne Cup last year Harris Tweed's chances improve with a wet track and according to Bjorn Baker has came through his tough Caulfield Cup run in great heart.
"We just do not seem to be able to crack the big one in Australia. But that may come on the first Tuesday in November. He will now go straight into the Cup."
Completing the placings one-and-a-quarter-lengths back for third was fellow Karaka graduate and Victoria Derby (2500m) title holder, Monaco Consul, another double Group 1 winning High Chaparral entire. This result was also a trifecta for legendary sire Sadler's Wells with all three place-getting stayers his grand-sons.
Another Karaka graduate, Our Lukas, claimed a victory across the Tasman at the weekend with a win in the A$120,000 Listed Darley Seymour Cup (1600m) on Sunday.
Travelling behind race leader Conquering throughout, Our Lukas followed him into the turn before challenging in the straight to take the race by a long neck. Trained by Robert Heathcote the seven-year-old now has five stakes wins to his name and $619,650 in earnings.
The son of Generous was purchased for $20,000 by Mr P Willetts at the 2005 New Zealand Bloodstock Select Sale from Westbury Stud.
The National Yearling Sales Series runs from 31 January - 7 February 2011 with catalogues out 26 November.