Waldorf (NZ) dominant in Wanganui Guineas

If a dominant display in Wednesday’s $60,000 Listed HS Dyke Wanganui Guineas (1340m) is anything to go by, the $30,000 that trainer Andrew Campbell paid to buy Waldorf (NZ) (Highly Recommended) at the 2016 Select Sale has secured him one of New Zealand’s brightest three-year-old talents.

The striking black colt had already shown his mettle with two wins and three placings in seven two-year-old starts, culminating in a Listed win in the Ryder Stakes on the final day of the 2016-17 season.

But Waldorf appears to have gone to another level since then, leaving his five rivals in Wednesday’s Guineas field for dead and romping away down the Wanganui straight to win by five and a quarter lengths with minimal encouragement from rider Johnathan Parkes.

“He’s still got improvement in him, he’s a big, burly horse,” Campbell said. “I knew the track wouldn’t worry him today and I expected a big run.”

Waldorf has now had eight starts for three wins, three placings and prizemoney of $94,825 – more than three times his purchase price. Campbell shares ownership with his top client Tommy Heptinstall, along with John and Chris Barnao, Tom Pivac, David Platt, David Allison and Nicki Cruickshank.

Campbell is now turning his attention to the $500,000 Group 1 Al Basti Equiworld New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton in early November.

“He’ll head to the Hawke’s Bay Guineas next and then Christchurch is the plan, as long as everything continues to go so well,” Campbell said.

“I don’t have any worries about him running a mile at Riccarton, his half-brother Timy Tyler won the Winter Cup there.”

Waldorf was bred by rookie breeders Mike and Anne McSweeney and was offered at Karaka by Berkley Stud. The South Island farm stands Highly Recommended, whose second crop are now three-year-olds headed by the dual stakes winner Waldorf. Making Wednesday’s result even sweeter, another son of Highly Recommended, Kirkland (NZ), finished second on debut.

Vendor Berkley Stud
Purchaser Mr AR Campbell (Masterton)
Breeding Highly Recommended – Skite
Sale Lot 572, 2016 Select Sale, $30,000

In other news Burgundy filly Dijon Bleu (NZ), who cost just $26,000 at the 2016 Select Sale, provided an outstanding return on that investment and took a massive step forward from her two-year-old season with an easy win in the $50,000 Listed O’Leary’s Fillies’ Stakes (1200m) at Wanganui on Wednesday.

The Lisa Latta-trained filly showed top-notch potential in three starts last season, beating subsequent Group 2 winner Gold Fever in a debut victory before running an unlucky fifth in the Group 3 Eclipse Stakes and a close ninth in the Karaka Million.

After resuming with a third placing at Taupo in August, Dijon Bleu stepped back up to black-type level on Wednesday and did it in style.

Ridden by Jonathan Riddell, the filly sat in behind the leaders before racing away in the last 200 metres to score by four and a half lengths.

“The trip to Taupo has really made her,” Latta said. “She has really gone forward since then and I couldn’t be happier. There’s a lot of options for her.”

Latta is keen to take Dijon Bleu south for the prestigious Group 1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton in November.

The Robinson Family Trust-bred Dijon Bleu is now the winner of two of her five starts, including Wednesday’s black-type success, for prizemoney earnings of $57,700 – more than double her purchase price.

Dijon Bleu became the second stakes winner from the first crop of Burgundy, a $1.3 million purchase at the 2010 Premier Sale who was a multiple stakes winner and has made an exciting start at Cambridge Stud. His other black-type winner was Hard Merchandize (NZ), who took out last season’s Castletown Stakes.

The Fillies’ Stakes was one of two wins on the day for Latta with Karaka graduates. She also produced the Nadeem colt Sir Nate (NZ) to score a gritty win in the $10,000 Vespa Standing at Wellfield Lodge Juvenile Plate (790m). Latta has Karaka Million aspirations for her $65,000 Select Sale purchase.

“I bought him at the sales and syndicated him among a great group of owners, both previous clients and first-time owners,” the Awapuni trainer said. “This is a great result.

“He’s a big, strong colt and he’s improved a lot since his first trial. There’s still a heap of improvement left in him.

“We’ll see how he comes through this, but the plan will probably be to give him a month off at some stage. Ideally we’d all love to get to the Karaka Million.”

Vendor Landsdowne Park Ltd
Purchaser Lisa Latta Racing Stables (Palmerston North)
Breeding Burgundy – Pristino
Sale Lot 484, 2016 Select Sale, $26,000