Prise De Fer (Savabeel x Foiled) scored his third consecutive win on Saturday when successful in the Dunstan Feeds Championship Qualifier (1500m) at Ellerslie.
After winning in October at Te Teko and November at Pukekohe, trainer Jamie Richards elected to give the horse time between runs, with a view that victory could steer a path towards the $100,000 Gr.2 Rich Hill Mile (1600m) on January 1 at Ellerslie.
Patience has proved a virtue and been rewarded with terrific winning performances and the prospect of contesting a highly sought after mile at Ellerslie.
“I think he’s really starting to come of age now and we will leave the door open for the Rich Hill Mile,” Richards said.
“On The Rocks came through this race last year, dropped down to 52kgs New Year’s Day and obviously won, so there are the two options for him.
“He was still very immature as a three-year-old, but he’s getting there now. I really like him and he’s a horse with a good future. He’s another horse that Dave (Ellis) bought from Karaka. Not overly expensive, but we’ve got some good owners in him and, gee, we’re having a run with these Savabeel’s.
“He had a typical three-year-old preparation last year. The money was up and you have to have a crack. He went to the Derby, trying to make him stay, but probably a mile and 2000 metres is best as a four-year-old. By the time he got to the Derby he was starting to leave a bit of feed and all of those sorts of things. I think he’s coming of age, now he’s a slightly older horse.”
Ridden by Shaun McKay, Prise De Fer found an ideal position, seventh, on a solid tempo and although standing the leader five lengths at the 600m was travelling sweetly. Drawn widest on straightening, he extended beautifully when asked for his best and had the opposition well and truly covered inside the furlong.
Sporting back-to-back wins, Prise De Fer started a loose favourite ($3.50 & $1.70), running the 1500m in 1:29.2, last 600m in 33.9, and winning by one and three-quarter lengths.
Owned by the Te Akau En Guarde Syndicate (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM), he was purchased by David Ellis for $100,000, from the draft of Trelawney Stud at the 2017 New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale.
“We seem to have really good success with the progeny of Savabeel and this horse is now starting to shape as the type to win Group races,” Ellis said. “It looks like he’ll have his next start in the Rich Hill Mile, where he’ll come in on the minimum (52kgs), and he’s a pretty exciting horse in the making.
“He’s a horse I bought from Raffles Farm, prepared by Trelawney Stud, and we’ve had so much success with horses we’ve bought from their drafts. Brent and Cherry Taylor do an amazing job with the horses they prepare for the sales and I think this bloke is a talented horse who has needed time."
Trelawney Stud were also represented at Ellerslie by Special Light who ran second in the TDDA 2200. The five-year-old mare who races in the Trelawney Stud silks led for the majority of the race before being run down by Savy Yong Blonk in the straight. -Te Akau Racing