Talented three-year-olds Rocababy and Romancing The Moon credited Westbury Stud resident El Roca with a black type quinella at Wanganui earlier this month and they followed up with effortless victories at the weekend.
Rocababy had the upper hand when they clashed in the Listed O’Leary’s Fillies’ Stakes and doubled up with success in the age group event at Hawera while Romancing The Moon romped home in maiden company at Matamata.
The Karaka farm also struck at Sha Tin where stud graduate Packing Victory maintained his excellent strike rate in Hong Kong with his fifth victory from 10 appearances.
The Graham Meredith-bred and Anna Clement-trained Rocababy sat in second spot to the turn and she impressively lengthened stride for rider Ashvin Mudhoo to cruise home by 1.3l.
The Westbury-sold Romancing The Moon was taken straight to the front by Craig Grylls and under hands and heels riding cruised clear to score by 3.5l.
“She’s actually still in the G1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas, so we’ll go to the G3 Soliloquy Stakes next and we’ll regroup after that,” trainer Mark Walker said.
“She’s a good, tough sort of breed and Hamish and Karyn McQuade sold her as a yearling so it’s good for their broodmare as well.”
A daughter of the multiple Group winner Underthemoonlight, Romancing The Moon was purchased out of Westbury’s draft at Karaka by Te Akau’s David Ellis for $50,000.
“She's come through the race well too. She looks at food and puts on weight, that's a good thing with a three-year-old filly, that's for sure,” Walker said.
Also at Matamata, Telperion four-year-old Pennsylvania returned from a lengthy break to impressively put away her Rating 65 opposition.
Not seen she broke her maiden at her second appearance at Tauranga in January, she endured a wide run and still had the temerity to produce an irresistible finish.
Pennsylvania’s effort delivered a pleasant surprise for co-breeder, part-owner and trainer Margaret Falconer, who didn’t have winning expectations.
“I didn’t really because she’s still pretty new and hadn’t raced for 10 months, but she’s definitely got ability so I was rapt,” she said.
The Danny Shum-trained Packing Victory was successful over 1400 metres and in a driving finish completed a hat-trick of wins for English jockey Harry Bentley.
“It’s a good milestone to get my first treble here in Hong Kong and to do it here at Sha Tin and in some really good quality races is fantastic,” he said.
“Danny has been fantastic and I really appreciate that he stood by me, it’s good to get some winners on the board, it’s good for the confidence.”
Packing Victory failed to meet his $85,000 reserve at Karaka in 2019 and the son of Reliable Man was sold to Hong Kong interests following a trial victory at Taupo from Alex Oliveira’s Cambridge stable.
A half-brother to the talented Tarzino gelding Te Toki, Packing Victory is a son of the Lonhro mare Espresso Cavallo and she is a half-sister to G1 Doncaster Handicap winner Sprint By.
Espresso Cavallo foaled a brother to Packing Victory this season before a return visit to Tarzino.