Honest mare earns honour after a rise in class to claim the Listed Dunedin Gold Cup (2400m). 

Photo credit \ Tayler Strong 

Stakes Strike for Honest Mare

Honesty added further black type to her family roll of honour when she handled a rise in class with aplomb to claim the Listed Dunedin Gold Cup.

The Gerry Harvey-bred daughter of Postponed had won in Rating 65 company at her previous start at Gore and held her form admirably for trainer Leda Beck and rider Jasmine Fawcett.

“Jasmine was so positive. The mare hadn’t been getting off the gate that well and I thought she would have to go back from the draw (10),” Beck said.

“Instead, she went forward and much to my surprise was able to find the rail. It was a perfect ride,” Beck said.

“Going up in distance really suits her as she is just getting older and more dour. She is just thriving on the racing.

“She has that wee lapse in her races, even over a mile, and then kicks again. It looks like she is taking a couple of breaths before she gets back into it.

“She is just so honest – hence her name I suppose.”

Honesty is a daughter of the Mossman mare Requiem Moss whose dam is a half-sister to the three-time Group 1 winner Shameka who has produced the dual Group 2 winner Shumookh.

Zoulander completed a Harvey-bred double when he gave his rivals a start and a beating in the Steve Anderton Memorial over 1200 metres.

Trained by Michael and Matthew Pitman, he was originally a $240,000 Karaka but for Graeme Rogerson who remains in the ownership of the Zoustar five-year-old.

Now the winner of three races, Zoulander is a son of the Exceed And Excel mare Vedex whose rich pedigree includes the Group 1 winners Santa Monica, Sharvasti and Linton.

Ace performer undefeated

Exciting Swiss Ace three-year-old Sabah Ace stretched his unbeaten run to three with his latest success over 1200 metres at Kranji.

The Westbury graduate won on debut for trainer David Kok in early November and following a break struck again two months later before completing his hat-trick.

He was a $50,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run Sale purchase and is a son of the Danehill mare Show Exhibit, who has a perfect record at stud with all 10 of her foals successful.

Show Exhibit was unraced and boasts an international pedigree with her dam a half-sister to the G3 Beresford Stakes winner and Group 1 performer Castle Gandolfo and also the family of the Brazilian Group 1 winner Estrela Monarchos.

Meanwhile, free-going Swiss Ace five-year-old Sergio has a few tricks but as he showed at New Plymouth over 1400 metres that he is a hard horse to run down when in the right mood.

“I never quite know which Sergio is going to turn up, but when the right one does he’s pretty special,” trainer Chrissy Bambry said.

Sergio collected the fifth win of his career when he made all the running under jockey Craig Zackey to claim the open sprint honours.

“He’s a lovely, big horse and he’s still a big baby who can hang and do all sorts, but he has to get them chasing as he won’t give up,” Bambry said.

Reliable mare strikes

Talented Reliable Man four-year-old Lekvarte delivered a strong performance at Randwick to score over a distance short of her best.

The Joseph Pride-trained representative produced a stirring finish over 1600 metres to record the fourth victory of her career and second since

“She’s had a good preparation since coming back from knee surgery with two Saturday wins,” Pride said.

Successful rider Jay Ford is confident Lekvarte will continue her continue to move through the grades when she steps up in trip.

“She’s a backmarker and is probably looking for a bit further now,” he said.

“In the last 100 metres she showed staying potential and was strong to the line. She’s progressive and will continue to improve.”

Bred by Stewart Hume, Lekvarte was a $210,000 purchase out of Westbury’s 2020 Karaka draft by BK Racing & Breeding and Andrew Williams Bloodstock.

She is a daughter of the Encosta De Lago mare Plumm and is a half-sister to the multiple winner and stakes performer Total Power.

Perfect performance

El Roca mare Gwen’s Daughter capitalised on her preferred soft track conditions at New Plymouth where the Westbury graduate romped home over 1400 metres.

Trained by Frank Ritchie, she had finished runner-up at her previous start at Tauranga and had no trouble going one better from the ace draw for rider Ashvin Goindasamy.

“It was perfect ground for her and I’m delighted with the result,” Ritchie said. “It was all in our favour and it was a lovely ride.”

Gwen’s Daughter has now won twice from seven appearances up to 1400 metres and Ritchie believes she can add to her record over more ground.

The four-year-old is out of the Faltaat mare Gwen’s Rules who won nine races, including two at Listed level and finished runner-up in the G1 Railway Handicap.

El Roca also made a winning impact at Tauranga where Rocabury won his second consecutive race on the course.

He had been successful in Rating 65 company last month and stayed in the same grade to impressively carry an extra 4.5kg to a clear-cut victory over 1600 metres.

Rocabury was sold by Westbury at Karaka to Ascot Farm’s Bruce and Maureen Harvey for $55,000 purchase.

He is a half-brother to the G1 Levin Classic placegetter Huka Eagle, who won at black type level in Macau, with their dam the High Yield mare Ugly Betty.

Promising staying prospect

Well-related Redwood mare Kattegat showed staying was her forte when she successfully stepped up to a middle distance for the first time at Tauherenikau.

The Westbury graduate was having just her fourth start for trainer Shaun Phelan and had placed in her previous three over 1600 metres.

Kattegat is a half-sister to El Roca’s gifted son Lucky Path, a two-time Group 2 winner in Hong Kong, and was purchased by agent Paul Willetts for $6000 at Karaka in 2020.

She is out of the Danehill Dancer mare Gould and haiuls from the family of the G1 Oakleigh Plate winner Khaptingly.