Westbury Stud stallions were again to the fore at the weekend with a double strike at Awapuni’s premier meeting and success at the Avondale fixture.
Star Redwood three-year-old Sharp ‘N’ Smart came up short in his bid to his impressive seasonal haul of three top-flight titles in the Group 1 Australian Derby, but lost no admirers when a gallant fourth in testing conditions.
“Hugh (Bowman) said his run was enormous, but his wheels were spinning and just didn’t handle the ground,” co-trainer Graeme Rogerson said.
“His run was super and I think on a dry track he would have been far too good for them.
“He’ll have an eight-week spell now and get him ready for the spring. He’ll probably have one start in New Zealand and I think he is a Caulfield and Melbourne Cup horse.”
“Every race will be a Group 1 race, I think he’s something very special and his potential is unbelievable.”
Tarzino’s daughter Mountain Guest also gave a strong account of herself at Randwick with a courageous front-running effort for second in the Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes and trainer John Sargent will now consider backing her up in the Group 1 Australian Oaks.
The Hottie did her chances of a trip to the Queensland winter carnival no harm with an impressive victory at the Awapuni meeting.
The four-year-old, who now has a pair of wins and four placings from eight outings, powered home from the back of the field to overpower her Rating 65 rivals over 1400 metres in the hands of Sam Collett.
Trainer Robbie Patterson is keen to take The Hottie to Brisbane and will have to use his powers of persuasion on connections, which includes co-breeder Eddie Bourke, to confirm a trip overseas.
“I’d love to take her over so I’ll have to talk to Eddie. It’s great for him, he puts a lot into racing and she’s a really good mare and hoping to get some black type for her,” Patterson said.
The Hottie is the first live foal of the O’Reilly mare The Countessa, who is from the potent family of the Dennis Brothers that features Group 1 winners including The Chosen One, The Perfect Pink, La Diosa, The Jewel, The Phantom, The Phantom Chance, The Twinkle and Irish Chance.
Southerner proves too good
Taimate Diva brought her southern form to Awapuni where she proved too good for the lower grade stayers.
The daughter of Telperion had won her previous appearance at Ashburton over a middle distance and made it two on the bounce with a commanding performance over 2100 metres.
Trained by Andrew Carston, Taimate Diva was travelling comfortably at the top of the straight and when asked for a serious effort by rider Kate Hercock, the four-year-old responded positively for the third win of her career.
She is a daughter of the Iffraaj mare Mistaar, successful on six occasions, and the second dam Sista won an edition of the Group 3 Waikato Guineas and was also a winner at Listed level in the Lindauer Classique and Wanganui Guineas.
Opal shines brightest
Promising mare Outback Opal is proving a gem for Matamata trainer and part-owner Mark Brosnan.
The five-year-old accounted for her Rating 75 rivals at Avondale with a strong performance in the hands of Trudy Thornton.
Outback Opal has been patiently handled and that approach is proving ultra rewarding with the mare having won two on the bounce and three from nine appearances.
Bred by Curraghmore’s Gordon Cunningham, she is out of the Bachelor Duke mare Kashika, who is a half-sister to stakes winner Savabill and the family of the two-time Australian Group 1 winner A Little Kiss.