Shadows Cast (NZ) (Per Incanto), who was passed with a $10,000 reserve at the 2014 South Island Sale, became a Group 1 winner with a sparkling performance in front of a big crowd at Trentham on Saturday.
The six-year-old scored an outstanding victory in the $200,000 Harcourts Thorndon Mile (1600m), boosting his career earnings to $423,202 – more than 42 times his reserve at the South Island Sale.
Ridden by Jason Waddell for trainer Mark Oulaghan and popular Wellington owner Ron Cunningham, Shadows Cast broke quickly from his wide gate and slid straight into second spot.
The gelding drove clear at the top of the straight and bravely withstood the late run of Wyndspelle (NZ) (Iffraaj) to score by a neck.
“I always thought he was up to winning a Group One,” Oulaghan said. “His last run (winning the Group 2 Manawatu Challenge Stakes over 1400 metres) was very good and probably the best of his career, so he has followed on from there.
“He was a little bit erratic earlier on, but with a little bit of time he has really grown up and come to it as a racehorse.”
Shadows Cast has now won 10 of his 33 starts, with Saturday’s Group One win sitting alongside his Group Two victories in the Coupland’s Bakeries Mile (1600m) and Manawatu Challenge Stakes.
“I’ve had some nice horses and trained a few good ones, but nothing beats a Group One win,” Cunningham said.
“I rated him quite highly today based on his trial on Tuesday. Darryl Bradley rode him there and gave me a lot of confidence.
“I’ve been in the game a long time and have quite a few around me, but this means a great deal.”
Shadows Cast joins Signify (NZ) (Perfectly Ready), who won the Telegraph (1200m) in 2017, as a Group 1-winning graduate of the South Island Sale in recent seasons.
Vendor C.M. Harris
Breeding Per Incanto – Ages Past
Sale Lot 118, 2014 National Yearling Sales Series (South Island Session), Psd (Res $10,000)
Bred by Miss CM Harris
In other news the same owners, trainer and jockey as last year’s winner Dijon Bleu (NZ) (Burgundy) struck again in Saturday’s $70,000 Group 3 Williment Travel Group Desert Gold Stakes (1600m) at Trentham.
This time their star performer was Secret Allure (NZ) (Zacinto), a $36,000 purchase at the 2017 Select Sale who now sits in second place on the New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series standings.
Both fillies were trained by Lisa Latta and ridden by Leith Innes for owners A J Rennie, T D Tomlins, P Finlayson, K T J Dixon, M Passey, D A Masters & L M Latta.
Dijon Bleu went on to win the Filly of the Year title, clinching it with victory in the Group 2 Sir Tristram Fillies’ Classic (2000m) at Te Rapa in early February. Secret Allure will be given the chance to do the same thing.
A winner at Listed level last season, Secret Allure had already made a Filly of the Year Series impact with a second placing in the Group 2 Royal Stakes (2000m) and fourth in the Group 1 gavelhouse.com New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m).
But the Desert Gold Stakes was on a new level. Patiently ridden by Innes, she sat well back in the field before charging into contention in the straight.
She raced past the Group 1 performer Valalie (Snitzel), then held out the fast-finishing Jakkalbomb (NZ) (Jakkalberry) by a long neck.
“Leith came out and said he had watched a few of her replays and she reminded him a bit of Dijon Bleu,” Latta said.
“She hasn’t quite got the height of her, but she is a tough little filly.
“I said to Leith that she could pull and I didn’t care where he was, just get her one off the fence and just give her a cosy run. He said I might look for a run up the inside, so I said just do whatever you want and everything just opened up for her.”
Innes was delighted to team up with the same connections as Dijon Bleu.
“It’s pretty special as they are a neat bunch of people,” he said. “She (Secret Allure) is not very big, but she’s pretty gutsy. I think Dijon Bleu was a little bit better, but this filly is on the way up.”
Secret Allure collected another 6 points for Saturday’s win, moving to 10 and second place on the Filly of the Year Series table behind Media Sensation (I Am Invincible). Valalie is next with 8.5 points, while Pinmedown (NZ) (Pins), 2019 Karaka Million 3YO Classic bound Imelda Mary (NZ) (Ferlax) and Queen of Diamonds (NZ) (Savabeel) have 8 each. Jakkalbomb collected her first 3 points with Saturday’s second placing.
The next leg of the Filly of the Year Series is the Sir Tristram Fillies’ Classic at Te Rapa on February 9.
Before that, Inglewood Stud will offer a half-brother to Secret Allure in Book 1 of Karaka 2019. The Shooting to Win colt will go through the ring as Lot 391.
Vendor Inglewood Stud
Purchaser Lisa Latta Racing (Palmerston North)
Breeding Zacinto – Secret Scent
Sale Lot 1005, 2017 Select Sale, $36,000
Bred by Inglewood Stud
Air Max (NZ) (Nadeem) followed in the footsteps of his classy half-brother Boots ’N’ All (NZ) (Perfectly Ready) when he scored his first black-type win in Saturday’s $50,000 Listed Liquorland Gore Guineas (1335m).
Like Boots ’N’ All, Air Max was offered at the South Island Sale, and like Boots ’N’ All he was passed in. He was retained by his breeders Cheryl Wilson and Bruce Sheat, this time alongside a large syndicate of others.
After two seconds, a fourth and a sixth in his first four starts, Saturday’s Gore Guineas was his breakthrough performance.
With Lee Callaway in the saddle, Air Max charged down the outside with an irresistible finishing burst to win by half a length from Dreamtesta (NZ) (Testa Rossa) and the previously undefeated Weaponry (NZ) (Declaration of War).
The Lance Robinson-trained Air Max has now earned $39,350 in prizemoney – almost double his $20,000 reserve at the 2017 South Island Sale.
“We’ve always liked him and set him for this race after his last run at Dunedin,” Robinson told NZ Racing Desk.
“I was a bit worried about the track as he doesn’t normally cop this sort of ground. That’s why he ran sort of ran around a bit, so it was a good effort. When he got so far back, I was really worried as I hadn’t expected to see him way back there.
“He’s a half-brother to Boots ’N’ All, so he’s going to be alright.”
A half-brother to Air Max and Boots ’N’ All will be offered during the upcoming Karaka 2019 National Yearling Sale. Going through the ring as Lot 937, the Super Easy colt features in the draft of Long Acres Stud.
Vendor C. P. Wilson & B. A. Sheat Partnership
Breeding Nadeem – Steel Stilettos
Sale Lot 90, 2017 South Island Sale, Psd (Res $20,000)
Bred by B A Sheat & Mrs C P Wilson